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Forum Communications, Published August 02 2012

Griggs County may vote again on courthouse

GRAND FORKS – The Griggs County Commission likely will decide today whether to put an estimated $1.5 million bond issue on the November ballot to build a new courthouse, replacing the historic but hazardous building now in use.

Voters twice in the past year have rejected plans to remodel and expand the old building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places but has serious mold and other health issues.

If the November ballot issue is approved, the historic building in Cooperstown would be demolished.

“We don’t have much choice,” Commission Chairman Robert Johnson said. “We’re looking into building new, but we can’t do it until we get a vote from the people.”

Mold and health-related issues forced the county social services and sheriff’s departments to move out of the building’s lowest floor in fall 2010.

The health-related problems persist, with mold problems spreading to all three floors, according to county officials.