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County Officials Begin Planning Construction Of A New Courthouse

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

Morgan County officials say they waited years for money to build a new courthouse.

Now they say a 16-million dollar grant will go a long way towards making their dream a reality.

WYMT's Dara Rees talked with county officials about why the big price tag is worth it.

Morgan County Judge Tim Conley says the people of his community deserve the same modern conveniences as the rest of the state, and in the new millennium the old courthouse is just not up to par.

Around 100 years ago, people in Morgan County were breaking ground on the current courthouse.

Now the historic structure doesn't fit the modern day court system.

“101 years ago, they had a judge and they had a court. Today you have a circuit judge and a district judge and a family judge and drug court judge, you have all these different courts going on and there's not room to have all these courts going on at the same time,” Morgan County Judge Executive, Tim Conley said.

“It's really hard with the children, the 16 year olds taking permit tests and that sort of thing, it's hard to work out all that along with all the court system and all the people, the traffic you have in and out of the courthouse,” Morgan County Circuit Clerk, Donna Pelfry said.

The new courthouse will help the county catch up with their dockets and avoid delays down the road.

Judge Conley says security is a big issue in this building. The door behind me is one of at least five entrances to the courthouse which sometimes allows people that go inside to be left unseen.

Conley says the new building will have one main entrance and another for alleged criminals and those on trial.

“We have court going on and we have kids coming in to get drivers license and stand in the same hallway that we have somebody that's been brought in for some criminal case,” Judge Conley said.

He says it's worth the money to keep his community safe.

It will be at least a year before construction begins.

Conley says planning for the new building could take up to 15 months.

Judge Conley says the old building will remain a part of the community, he says it may be used for judicial storage for other communities, but nothing is set in stone just yet.


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