Commissioners discuss jail, courthouse project

By KayLynn Roberts-McMurray

The Ely Times

The White Pine County Commission held their commission meeting this past Wednesday. One of the agenda items was to decide which project they were going to work on, the jail or the courthouse. 

District Attorney Mike Wheable spoke first by giving the commission an overview of how much is available in funding thus far.

“There is $9 million in savings, we have a line of credit that we are working on with the USDA for up to $10 million,” Wheable said. “The original budget they shot for was $28 million.

‘We might be able to scale down some things. We can’t cut back too far though because this has to meet the needs of the future as well. If we reduce our budget from $28 million to $24 million,  over the next 4-5 years you could probably come with another $4 million.”

Chairman Commissioner Richard Howe commented that the commission has to move forward with this, noting that he believes they are in a good financial situation to do this, and emphasizing to the public that it’s no more and or but staying firm with both projects.

Howe said, “as we proceed forward, we’re not getting anything from the state, they pretty much showed you during this legislative session exactly what they are going to do to the rurals.”

Commissioner Shane Bybee, in full agreement, said, “I think to do it in phases would be a mistake, we’ve done this before, we ended up with a public safety building that no longer serves its purpose properly and still no court facility. We have to tackle this head on both at the same time.”

Wheable also noted that sometimes just dedication in the construction phase and planning, moving forward is enough to satisfy certain agencies who may be trying to shake their fingers at the county or certain groups who may want to sue.

All items pertaining to continuing with both projects were voted on unanimously.

Howe said, “We look forward to doing this, it’s not going to happen next week, but we look to doing this in a short period of time like September or October”,

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