Utah County's newest commissioner says plans to turn the old county building into a courthouse would not have been good for the courts.
Sid Sandberg, who took office in early January, said security was the main reason for his decision to not support a state proposal to remodel the building to house 4th Circuit and 4th District courts."That plan may not be the best plan even for the courts," he said during a public meeting Tuesday. "From a taxpayers' perspective it may also not be the best choice."
Sandberg said renovation of the building will happen, regardless of whether it's for courts or something else. Renovating for the courts, however, would be more costly because of the measures that would be necessary to provide security.
Sandberg said the state's plan was like a house renter offering enough rent to pay for initial improvements but not enough for occasional upkeep. "Without a proper lease I don't support locating the courts in the county building."
The meeting was the second of three throughout the county in which Sandberg plans to speak with residents. The first meeting was in Spanish Fork last week, and the third will be Thursday in American Fork.
Residents also had time to ask questions about zoning, water and Provo Canyon.
Sandberg said the meetings aren't designed to arrive at any conclusions, just to let residents tell of concerns and recommendations.
"The purpose of this meeting is not to have a large crowd," he said. About 20 people attended the meeting in Spanish Fork.
The Provo meeting had four in attendance. Three of the four were from Spanish Fork. Two were concerned about being able to build on property in Palmyra, and the other was concerned about the flow of the Spanish Fork River.
Sandberg said water issues will be a major part of what the County Commission discusses. The major topic will be the effect of the Central Utah Project on the county.
The commissioner said he will encourage state legislators to encourage Gov. Norm Bangerter to approve a plan blocking interstate truck traffic through Provo Canyon.
Thursday's meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the American Fork Senior Citizens Center.