County begins $1.5 million renovation to courthouse

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

    Construction has begun on more than $1.5 million in renovations to the Mills County Courthouse.

    Rogge Construction  began work on the courthouse on Oct. 2. Work is expected to continue throughout the winter for a spring completion date.
    “Their plan is to get as much done outside as they can before winter and work inside during the winter,” said Carol Robertson, Mills County Auditor.
    Improvements planned for the courthouse include a remodeled treasurer’s office and driver’s license center and an elevator that will bring the 53-year old building into Americans With Disability Act compliance. The treasurer’s office will be temporarily housed in the county board room during construction.
A new east-side entrance to the courthouse with a vestibule and a “sally port” access garage, for secure prisoner transfer to and from the courthouse, will be constructed.
    Also in the works are federally mandated equipment improvements in the communications and emergency 911 center and an electrical upgrade for the entire building.
    The final cost of the project is budgeted at $1,578,000.
    The Mills County Board of Supervisors approved a one-year, $1 hike to the county’s portion of the general basic tax levy to pay for the courthouse improvements. The in-crease to the levy means county residents with a property assessed for tax purposes at $100,000 will pay $100 more in property taxes over the next year.
    Construction was planned to begin in August but a delay in the bid-letting process pushed back construction until early October.
    The Franks Design Group designed the project.