By Pat Ratliff
Dunn County Herald
The Slope County Courthouse, built in 1917 as a “temporary building” has served Slope County residents well. After 96 years, it’s proven to be a great investment.
Published November 29, 2013
But work is underway in Amidon to replace the aging structure. Land is being leveled and primed for a new $4 million courthouse for the county right next to the old structure.
The new courthouse will be approximately the same size, around 3,000 sq. ft., as the old courthouse, but will provide more “usable” room for employees, as well as meet ADA requirements.
“We’ll have a garage for the Sheriff’s vehicles,” Slope County Auditor Lorrie Buzalski said. “And just a much better use of space.
“We’ll be able to have jury trials if we need them.”
At present, there is an unusable courtroom in the building, but a jury trial would need to be held in either Bowman or Dickinson.
“We should have an extra two to four rooms when the new building is completed,” Buzalski said.
She said the extra rooms could quickly be used for extra personnel if the oil boom expands south into Slope County, but notes at presents no extra personnel are needed in the county.
There will also be a room for county residents to use for meetings and events.
Another advantage of the new building – new electric and computer lines, which should make county records safer.
The start of construction marks the end of a long period of discussion over the need for such a building.
“They’re been talking about this for three or four years,” Buzalski said. “It’s been in the planning stages for a long time.”
Completion of the building is scheduled for next fall, with move-in around the middle of September and final completion November 15.
Final completion includes demolition of the old building and pouring of concrete for the parking lot.
Perhaps just as important to Slope County residents is the news that the new structure will result in no new taxes, it will be completely paid for with current funds.
“I’m sure we wouldn’t build it if we needed to do that,” Buzalski said.