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County board drops courthouse security addition

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After voting on June 26 to proceed with the design phase of the proposed Courthouse Security Addition (Option E), Wadena County Board members abandoned the project Tuesday.

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Instead of having workers add on to the front of the Courthouse, which would have included a metal detector and housed a bailiff to control entry into the building, the commissioners decided to go with a "Band-Aid" solution, which involves a metal detector being put outside the large courtroom, a part-time bailiff on staff for court days and a perimeter of metal poles connected with plastic tape being put in place to inhibit entry to the courtroom.

Board members voted to:

move the Law Library from its present location on the upper level to a new location on the lower level presently occupied by Emergency Management Services and the Veterans Service Office;

• move the Veterans Service Office to another location, either in the Wensman Building or the Highway Department building;

• move the Emergency Management Services office into the Sheriff's Department space;

• move the present Judge's Chamber to the present Law Library space;

• enlarge the small courtroom;

• and remodel the existing private restroom adjacent to the Judge's Chamber.

The possibility of constructing a concrete block security barrier in the current upper level foyer was not included in the commissioners' motion, but may be added later.

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