Hempstead County Quorum Court Discuss New Courthouse, Completion Date and Financials

The Hempstead County Quorum Court met Thursday, June 25 to discuss various agenda items. The meeting began with invocation, the pledge of allegiance and was then called to order by Ed Darling being that Judge Jerry Crane was absent for this meeting. 

The minutes from the May meeting were approved by the court and they moved onto the next item. 

Steve Atchley gave an update on the remodeling of the new Courthouse. The update projects are in full swing and improvements are underway. The construction team asks that no one come in the building unless authorized and if they do, they need to wear proper hard hat and masks. They have begun stripping the building for remodel and have been working on the fire suppression system. All carpets, flooring and tiles have been taken up to begin working on the air conditioning system for rerouting and duct work. The fountain in the middle of the 1st floor lobby has been removed. A change order has been made on a window and door and will be converted into a solid wall in the Judge’s office. Judge Crane has rented a storage building for 13 truck loads of furniture that has been moved out of the new courthouse for the construction period. The county is renting the unit for $1,000 in order to keep the furniture safe and dry until it can be moved back into the courthouse. A possible change order has also been placed for semi-permanent plexiglass windows to be installed on the judges desk or bench in the courtroom. An estimate of cost is being calculated for this and will be presented back to the court when it is available.

January 15, 2021 has been set as the completion date and it is possible the construction team could finish the remodel before then. When completed, the new courthouse will be ready to be moved into. 

Ed Darling shared information on financials. The tax collections have held up remarkably well since last year. Property tax collections are up more than last year by about $500,000. Sales and use taxes are also holding up and everybody is on budget on line with deductions. 

The meeting was adjourned and will reconvene Thursday, July 23 at 5:30pm in the Hempstead County Courthouse. 

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