CREEDE— Mineral County Commissioners and the Department of Local Affairs have announced that the Mineral County Courthouse will receive $900,000 through the Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund (EMIA) program for their renovation project. According to Commissioner Scott Lamb the renovation will begin some time at the beginning of July and take about 15 months to complete. “We will have a 15-month window to get the project completed, depending on how things go,” said Lamb.
“We were excited about the news of the grant funding. All three commissioners and county officials worked very hard towards this end; we spent a lot of time crunching numbers to make sure the county could afford the matching funds that will be required for the grant. When we received funding from the Underfunded Facility grant back in December, we were pretty confident that we would be awarded the DOLA grant, but you just never know. We were impressed with our presentation last month to DOLA and just ecstatic to get the news. This is a green light for us to move forward,” said Lamb.
The county was awarded $695,000 through the Underfunded Facility grant at the first of the year which was $150,000 more than they originally requested in the grant application. At that point, commissioners knew that without the funding through the EIAF grant program, they would not be able to move forward with the entire project. Lamb stated in a meeting prior to receiving the DOLA funds that the entire project rested on the outcome of the DOLA application.
Now moving forward will include relocating the courthouse until the project can be completed. “We have a lot of work ahead of us and we looked at several options in the county as to where we could move the courthouse until the project is finished. There were some things we had to consider, but after careful consideration, we entered into a contract with Rio Grande Silver for the homestake office on the Bachelor Loop Road. We looked into mobile units, the old elementary school and felt that this was our best option. The move will begin in June, so that the courthouse can be empty by the time the project starts in July,” said Lamb.
The Mineral County Sheriff’s Department and Search and Rescue will be moving to the Forest Service building located on Main Street, in order to keep the department close to town. “We understood the need to keep law enforcement as close to town as possible, so we worked with Divide District Ranger Martha Williamson and came up with an agreement for the sheriff to move his office to the building on Main,” said Lamb.
Information about the move and how it will affect people needing county services can be answered by calling the courthouse at 658-2331.