Inflation putting county courthouse, jail project above $40 million budgeted

WHITEHALL - Because of increased costs due to high inflation, bids for new Trempealeau County Justice Center and current renovations to the courthouse are going over the $40 million budget that was approved for the project.

Trempealeau County Board members discussed the problem at their monthly meeting held back on Dec. 21 at the current courthouse. Board members were reportedly informed by officials from the Samuels Group that there was little chance the current bidding process would get the project for the new justice center back on budget as shortages for construction materials due to the COVID-19 virus are driving up costs. Besides the $40 million for the new justice center, the approved project also includes $3.5 million in renovations to the current courthouse.

Using different materials could help to lower those costs along with revising some other parts of the project as well. However board members have indicated they wish to keep in the plans having two courtrooms in operations along with all safety features as well.

In other agenda items. the board approved the county's four-year outdoor recreation plan and approved accepting $720,000 from the nationwide opioid settlement to be spent on opioid recovery programs. But they turned down a proposal to allow UTVs and ATV on county roads by a 9-6 vote, with strong opposition coming from representatives from several town board against the proposal.

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