Supervisors to receive public feedback on new Wellton courthouse
The Yuma County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing at its regular meeting on Wednesday to receive the public's input on the proposed $2.4 million purchase agreement for a new courthouse in Wellton.
The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. at 198 S. Main St.
After seeing the Wellton court's case load nearly double since the Border Patrol relocated its checkpoint east of the Gila Mountains, the county decided it was time to alleviate the burden on the diminutive Justice Court and build a new courthouse.
“It's a need that definitely needs to be addressed out there in Wellton,” county Administrator Robert Pickels said. “I am excited that we're moving forward with this and I think the residents and the employees who work there are going to be very pleased when they see the final result.”
In December, the county began accepting bids and awarded the purchase agreement last month to National Bank of Arizona Public Financial Services.
The public hearing will provide residents an opportunity to voice their opinion on the project before the board votes to finalize the agreement.
Also on the agenda is a resolution to designate the State of Arizona Counties Communication Network (SACCNET) establishing it as a redundant communications service project for the county.
SACCNET originated in Graham County and its primary goal was to connect all 15 counties in Arizona to the same communications network so if a commercial network failed or became cost prohibitive, counties would still have a means of communicating. As of today, Yuma is the only county not connected to the system.
“For a variety of reasons (limited frequency space, tower space, etc.), we have not been able to commit the resources that have been requested of us,” Pickels said. “And since we cannot provide the resources, it never made sense to adopt a resolution supporting the program as a whole.”
But the county's attitude toward the program changed recently when the SACCNET program received a $39 million grant through the Recovery Act.
“(Since) that money can be used to implement the basic framework, we are going to consider a request to have just the infrastructure of the system built here,” Pickels said. “There won't be any strings attached. We are not committing to any resource dedication or tower space that's been requested. We are simply saying let's take advantage of the opportunity to have this basic framework established and then we can decide if we want to utilize it sometime in the future.”
In other board news, the supervisors will:
• Discuss and possibly take action on awarding a contract for the Avenue 64E Bridge Erosion Protection Project.
• Conduct a public hearing and possibly adopt the Yuma County 2020 Comprehensive Plan.
• Vote on accepting two awards, totaling $1,480,185, the Yuma County Sheriff's Office recently received from the Department of Homeland Security.