Of the 10,438 residents in Yellow Medicine County, just over 30 turned out for presentations detailing options for the retrofit or new construction of the YMC Courthouse held this week and last in Canby, Clarkfield and Granite Falls.
Some 15 individuals were reported in Granite, 10 in Clarkfield and four in Canby.
County commissioners, administration and employees went to great lengths to provide county constituents with information as to the specifics of courthouse and overall county operation initiatives. In addition, county staff offered tours of the courthouse facility so individuals could see issues facing the building first hand.
Of those who showed up for the meetings, most were said to have gone away with an understanding of the problems and offered support to decision makers even if they decide to go with an estimated $8 million tear down and rebuild.
“It was very informative,” said Joe Fagnano, a GF City Council member. “They had laid it out real well, and I think they’re going in the right direction.”
Fagnano said that he was surprised by the privacy and safety concerns at the YMC courthouse as well as the size of rooms utilized by the court system. He also noted that by taking a close look at the floor plan and conferring with onsite experts, that it “would be very difficult to remodel the floor plan where the space would be usable.”
Those with mindsets opposed to a new courthouse focused on the concern of property tax increases
“We built a symphony building, but now we can’t afford an orchestra,” said one person who declined to be named at the Clarkfield meeting, comparing the courthouse project to the publicly-funded Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. “You build a new courthouse, but at some point you won’t be able to afford to put people in it.”