By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer
Space and security issues abound in the more than 70-year-old county courthouse — a concern that has prompted an analysis to determine how to fix the problem.
County Manager Lance Pyle said a proposal to study whether there is need for a judicial complex is expected to be recommended to Curry County Commissioners today during a special afternoon meeting at the Clovis Civic Center.
“We have utilized every available space that is at the courthouse. Times are changing and when times are changing you also have to continue to keep making changes,” Pyle said.
“If you look at Curry County and our court system and the increase in case loads, the increase in the number of inmates we’re housing and the growth of our community, you’ve got to start looking and planning for that future,” Pyle said.
The analysis — expected to take about six months — will look at various options to resolve current and anticipated issues as county and state offices continue to outgrow the courthouse.
“The county offices are out of space, we’re housing inmates out of county because we’re out of space and we even moved the district attorney’s offices to another building where the county’s paying $100,000 a year for rent,” Pyle said.
In August alone, the county spent over $11,000 housing juvenile inmates in other counties because of lack of space at the juvenile detention center and tight state housing requirements that are difficult to meet with a dated facility.
In late 2009, the county commission began holding its meetings at the Clovis-Carver Library’s North Annex to make more room for public attendance.
The study is intended to look at what the county’s needs will be by 2025.
“We need to know exactly what is needed,” Pyle said Tuesday. “We’ve got to have a plan on what we’re working towards before we can go out and try to secure funding.”