ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Going up? Take the stairs

If you have business at the Carlton County Courthouse in coming weeks, you might want to check ahead of time to find out where to go. In an update to the Carlton County Board on Monday, Facilities Chair Mike Stafford informed commissioners that t...

If you have business at the Carlton County Courthouse in coming weeks, you might want to check ahead of time to find out where to go. In an update to the Carlton County Board on Monday, Facilities Chair Mike Stafford informed commissioners that the elevator replacement project is about to get under way and that various changes will have to take place to accommodate those unable to navigate the historic building's four stories' worth of steps.

"In order to begin the project," said Stafford, "we need to make certain places such as the courtroom are accessible to everyone who needs to be there."

Stafford went on to explain that the weekly child support hearings held on Tuesdays will be relocated to the county board room on the courthouse's first floor. Court Administrator Judy Isaacson added that the majority of the cases on the count's master calendar will be relocated to the first-floor board room as well, though the third- and fourth-floor courtrooms will continue in use as well.

"Our overall goal is to provide access to justice," said Isaacson. "We want to make it possible for everyone to file paperwork, pay fines, and participate in hearings."

She said her office will make certain people with upcoming court appearances are contacted in advance to determine if climbing stairs to the building's third- or fourth-floor courtrooms will present a handicap for them. In such cases, the hearing will be relocated to the first-floor board room. Also, any appearances by inmates lodged at the Carlton County Jail and wearing shackles will be scheduled for the first floor for personal safety reasons.

ADVERTISEMENT

Isaacson added that some of the personnel from the court administrator's office will be temporarily stationed in the personnel director's office on the courthouse's first floor to process the payment of fees and fines. Anyone having business to conduct at any of the other upstairs offices who is unable to climb stairs will have the ability to call those offices from the courthouse lobby.

Board members unanimously voted to change their meetings to the Carlton County Transportation Building beginning May 1 in order to make room for the changes at the courthouse.

The state mandated that the upgrade of the building's outdated elevator take place before the end of 2012. Though the county has received a grant for some $100,000 to assist with the expense, an additional $60,000 expense will be incurred to install a smoke curtain that will drop down over the opening to the elevator in case of a fire in order to make the shaft compliant with current code. Stafford explained that the curtain is necessary because the courthouse does not have a sprinkler system and its current fire alarm system is not expandable. In all, the total cost of the elevator project is estimated at nearly $300,000.

Stafford said the project will likely require that the elevator be out of service for approximately nine weeks. The exact date the elevator will be shut down will be announced in the Pine Journal as soon as it has been established.

Anyone having questions regarding building access during the elevator construction project should contact Stafford at 218-384-9141.

In other business to come before the board, commissioners approved a loan in the amount of $100,000 for K&A Kleaning to assist with the construction of a 6,000-square-foot building in the new Esko Industrial Park. Carlton County Economic Development Director Pat Oman explained that the terms of the loan include 4 percent interest and a 10-year amortization,

The board also approved a loan in the amount of $50,000 to Chad and Amanda Pfau of Wrenshall to provide gap financing in the purchase of the One-Stop Market in Wrenshall.

A public hearing to consider the establishment of a public cartway along Groth Road just off Jean Duluth Road was set for 4 p.m. Monday, May 23, at the Carlton County Transportation Building.

Related Topics: CARLTON COUNTY
What To Read Next
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.