By Myrna Trauntvein
Juab County Commissioners, wearing their hats as the presidency for the Municipal Building Authority, cleared the way for the construction of a new courthouse to serve the county.
Rick Carlton, commissioner who has been assigned the task of working with the state to bring the new courthouse to Nephi, made the motion that the commission go into session as the building authority.
"This is another necessary step in preparing the way for the new courthouse to be built," said Carlton.
The county has a building authority, made up of the county commissioners acting not as commissioners but as members of the building authority, who act to acquire, improve, and/or extend one or more projects and to finance their costs on behalf of the public, in order to accomplish the needed public purposes.
The Local Building Authority of Juab County finances building projects, such as constructing the Public Safety Building (the county jail). It does not, however, finance operations and maintenance.
Carlton serves as president of the building authority.
The resolution approved was one authorizing and approving the execution of an annually renewable lease agreement, and between the authority and the county.
The agreement authorizes, in addition, the issuance and sale of its lease revenue bond, series 2013.
A master resolution was authorized allowing security documents and other related documents to be put in place as required to allow for the financing of the cost of construction for the courthouse.
"This opens the way for the needed bonds to be issued," said Carlton.
The resolution was also accepted by the county commission as part of their commission meeting.
"The courthouse will be built east of the county complex," said Carlton.
The property is the north half of the abandoned 100 East right-of-way between 100 North and 200 North.
Sometime in April, said Carlton, more detailed information will be released as to the design and the construction of the facility.
Recently, Nephi City Council authorized Mayor Mark Jones to execute the deed conveying property to Juab County to help house the new courthouse to be constructed this year.
Nephi City deeded the property at no charge to the county.
At the council meeting, the council also adopted an ordinance changing the zoning of that property from residential (R-1-8) to combined use (CU).
The county followed the legal process by applying for the zone change and following the requirements set out in city ordinance. The Planning Commission for the city recommended approval of the request.
The property for rezone includes the ambulance building, the fire station, and the future site of the courthouse.
A year ago, commissioners, once again acting as the building authority, approved an agreement between the authority and the State of Utah Administrative Office of the Courts to approve an MOU (memorandum of understanding) between the state courts and the county.
"The state court system will pay rent for their use of the building," said Carlton. "We have negotiated with the state administrative office of the courts."
The Fourth District Court will be held in the new facility and, therefore, the mandated building, which should be done six to seven months after it is begun, will be rented by the state for that court. It is planned that the rent collected will pay for construction.
That is the process used for the public safety building where the Utah Highway Patrol pays for their area of the building as part of a lease agreement.
"A new courthouse needs to be built in Juab County," said Chad Winn, commission chairman.
The Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM) have retained a construction manager to oversee the job.
The building will be approximately 6,000 to 9,000 square feet on one floor.
Winn said that the state court system thought it necessary to improve safety in the courtroom and the only feasible way to do so was to construct a new court building.
The new courthouse, though the official design is still forthcoming, will have a sally port, or a secure, controlled entryway, protected from the public.
"That will be much safer for everyone than having to unload prisoners at the back of the county building, escort them into the building and then into the elevator to take them upstairs," said Winn.