Jefferson County to expand annex building
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - The Jefferson County Courthouse Annex Building was built nearly six years ago. During the construction of the building, the basement level of the building was left unfinished due to monetary restrictions at the time. Now, they are moving forward with finishing the basement of the building adding to the office space and usable space for the county.
"This space is about 6400 square feet. And it will be turned into office space, a big classroom space, and then there'll be restrooms, the usual kind of thing down here," Jefferson County emergency manager Rebecca Squires said.
Squires added some of the offices and spaces included in the basement will be the public defender's office, a classroom and space for the administrative space for elections.
"That doesn't necessarily mean that voting takes place down here, although it could, but, it does mean that this is a good workspace for elections to use. And then a large portion of this downstairs will be dedicated towards classroom space so that we can provide both adult and youth education," Squires said.
Squires says the county's elections office will now have an opportunity to prepare in a larger space than before.
"Days before the voting actually begins, our elections folks are very, very busy training precinct workers and getting all the equipment programmed in the ballots put together in their packets. And all of that administrative work takes a lot of space and a lot of security. So we've built all of that into this space down here so that our elections people can work seamlessly and in a secure way to provide a safe and secure election."
The project will cost close to $900,000 and will not come from county taxpayers.
"So we're using money from the American Rescue Plan. It's that covered money that was dropped last year...we're very sensitive about that. The board of commissioners for Jefferson County is very sensitive about the fiscal health of the county. And protecting individual property rights and that includes an individual's right to keep their money," Squires said.
Currently, the project is in the bidding stages as the county looks for a contractor to take it on. They hope once construction starts it will be a fairly quick process.
"We're waiting for some great contractors to bid on this project and work in, the climate-controlled pleasantness of the downstairs, and ad bids will be opened in April, and we should be wrapped up with construction before the end of the year," Squires said.