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BV Supervisors Set Target Date for Fully Reopening Courthouse

July 01, 2020 8:41am

The Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors have set July 27th as a target date to fully reopen the courthouse.

County Attorney Paul Allen on Tuesday told the Board of Supervisors that he's been asked by judges and other court personnel if the courthouse will be fully open to the public on July 13th, which is the tentative date for resuming regular court proceedings, and was hoping to get a time frame to go off of.

Supervisor Paul Merten asked if it would be possible to only allow people that are involved with a particular case into the courthouse. Allen said there would be logistical issues, and it would violate the constitutional right to open court.

Allen said most courthouses in the district plan to reopen by July 13th for regular proceedings. Supervisor Tom Huseman feels that reopening the BV County courthouse on July 13th would be a bit premature. Allen said that while it's been justifiable that the BV courthouse has remained closed longer than others in the area, the backlog in regular court hearings continues to pile up.

Supervisor Merten feels that the appointments process with departments has been going well, and asked if only the 3rd floor of the courthouse could be opened to the public. Buildings and Grounds Superintendent Joe Keller said with fire codes in mind, people would still need to have access to exit the building safely.

The Board will discuss the July 27th target date with the department heads on Thursday. Supervisor Rhonda Ringgenberg said they need to proceed with caution, especially with the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in certain parts of the country.