Fireworks at first courthouse feasibility meeting
It wasn’t all numbers and conjecture at the first of three public meetings held Tuesday night on the courthouse feasibility project.
During the question and answer portion of the Absarokee meeting, Spectrum Group Architect Gary Levine told the audience of approximately 24 people that the sheriff didn’t think having his office separated from the rest of the county offices was a problem.
Sitting in the audience was Stillwater County Sheriff Cliff Brophy, who countered that comment immediately and strongly.
“Oh it’s an issue,” Brophy said. “I’m very concerned about public safety with that.”
The men were referring to an option that leaves the sheriff’s office at the current courthouse while the rest of the county offices, including the courtrooms, move to the old hospital.
Brophy went on to say that putting the courtrooms at the old hospital and leaving his office at the current location is not only problematic, but it’s dangerous. The proximity of a large day-care across the street, the schools on the other side of the building, the fact that the building is connected to an assisted living facility and the all the homes located in that immediate area were among Brophy’s concerns.
“I’m totally opposed to it, It’s not going to work for us,” said Brophy.
Other concerns voiced by citizens included the historic value of the current courthouse, parking at the old hospital and potential for growing room in each of the four alternatives offered.
Levine said there is virtually no room to grow under Alternative 1.
Attendees also asked the commissioners how to make sure their comments on the matter were officially recorded.