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Judges, Meade County officials at odds over courthouse remodeling

STURGIS (AP) — Two South Dakota judges and the Meade County Commission are at odds over plans to remodel the county’s 50-year-old courthouse in Sturgis.

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Circuit Judges Warren Johnson and Jerome Eckrich have said the courthouse is so old and inefficient that it is impossible to uphold the “expected dignity and decorum of judicial proceedings,” the Rapid City Journal reported. The judges have said the courthouse does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the elevator works only sporadically and security measures are weak.

The judges have asked the county commissioners to move forward on a whole-scale plan to upgrade the courthouse in one major project.

The commissioners have said they want to improve the courthouse, but are reluctant to do all the proposed improvements at once. The commissioners told the judges the county does not have $7 million for the project, and they have offered a plan to do the remodeling in phases over the next few years.