Maintenance director introduces first phase of clerk’s office relocation

While far removed from an actual move-in date, prep work for a potential move of the Cass County Clerk/Register office from its current home in the county annex to the Law and Courts Building are underway.

Building and Grounds Director Dave Dickey introduced the first proposed phase of the relocation to the Cass County Board of Commissioners during its regular meeting last week. The plans call for the purchase of shelving for an empty room in the courthouse basement that would store files currently housed in the Probate/Circuit Court file area, clearing out space that could potentially be used by the clerk’s office in the future.

The materials proposed for purchase would cost the county $14,304 if approved by the board, with $10,000 coming from the public improvement fund and the remaining balance drawn from the general fund.

The proposal stems from the initial planning work performed by the clerk’s office and Dickey for the possible relocation following discussion with the board of commissioners last month. A move to the courthouse would consolidate the office’s staff under one roof, provide a stable storage environment for historic county records and offer additional security, according to Clerk Register Monica Kennedy.

The prompt for the shelving purchase came as Dickey and the clerk’s office were working through possible locations in the courthouse to move the office, the building director said.

“Everything that we do adds another layer for what we have to do,” Dickey said.

With many of the historic files currently held in the probate/circuit court area required to be retained under state law, and also needing periodic access by court staff, the files are needed to be kept on site, requiring construction of the shelving in the courtroom basement, said Probate Judge Susan Dobrich.

Even if the clerk’s office does not relocate to the law and courts building, the additional storage space would benefit the courthouse staff especially as they transition toward document imaging, the judge said.

Floor plans and other components for the move are still in development, and could take months before completion, Dickey said.

“I’m sure that by November we could have the project’s costs,” Dickey said. “We could have something before you for approval before then.”

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