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County explores new Courthouse­

by Bill Knowles
WALSENBURG — The Huerfano County Commission, during a regular on Wednesday, Jan 25, began looking at preliminary information on a new courthouse for the county. Hearing from Johnson Architect out of Denver, the commissioners were shown a proposed design that would utilize both the second floor and third floor of the Spanish Peaks Library building.
Surfacing also in the discussion was the possibility of adding a second floor and a third floor to the existing Huerfano Law Enforcement building at 5th and Albert Street.
A new courthouse is needed because the current area used by both county and district courts along with necessary support staff is just simply too small. The new plans are calling for a 20,000 square foot area that would house both the county court and the district court.
It would also contain the jury sequestration area, areas for inmate transfers that are segregated from any public areas as well as new offices and judges chambers as well as two court rooms.
Plans for an addition of two floors at the county jail facility are still under consideration but would see two floors cantilevered on top of the current building. That would close down the parking area just west of the current buildings public entrance. When completed the structure would also encompass 20,000 square feet.
Total cost for a study of using the Spanish Peaks Library and the current jail are estimated to be around $36,000. An estimated total for the project is about $6.7 million.
Foreclosures for 2011 are down from 2010 according to Debbie Reynolds, county treasurer. 49 homes were foreclosed in 2010 with 38 homes falling under the axe in 2011.