A final decision has not yet been made, but the Redwood County Board of Commissioners moved ever closer to that final action regarding the construction of a new justice center as a replacement for the current courthouse building during its July 2 board meeting.

A 5-0 vote directed Wold Architects to proceed with the construction documents phase for the design of the facility, which is the step before the project would be sent out for bids.

At its June 18 meeting, the board met with John McNamara of Wold Architects to see a more recent and more detailed design plan for the building and also saw a cost estimate of about $1 million higher than it had in prior discussions.

That led the board’s building committee to sit down with McNamara to look for ways to reduce those costs. That discussion was presented to the full board July 2.

One of the major changes will be to move forward with a steel stud construction plan for the justice center walls rather than building with block. 

The changes the committee suggested could mean a savings of up to $300,000.

Jim Salfer, county commissioner, said the board is going to have to start talking more seriously very soon about the financing for this project adding he would like to have the current bond debt addressed first. The county currently has two bonds being paid off, with those coming to an end in the next four years.

However, he added, prolonging this project any longer just means increasing the cost.

The board will continue to work to find the best solution at the best cost for this project as the work proceeds.

In other action during its meeting, the county board:

• Approved the purchase of an asphalt trailer for the highway department from Towmaster at a cost of $31,592.50 plus any applicable taxes.

• Approved the purchase of 10 Dell personal computers and five computer monitors at a cost not to exceed $11,687.70.

• Accepted a $100 donation from the Redwood Falls Rotary Club for the child advocacy center.