Parts of the new $20 million justice complex housing the Davis County Sheriff's Department, county attorney and district courts will be open for business Monday.
Employees are moving out of the downtown Farmington courthouse Friday and will spend Saturday and Monday setting up shop in the complex in west Farmington, at State Street and 650 West.The Sheriff's Department's administrative offices, the county attorney, the two district court judges and the court clerk's office are moving into the new complex, which has been under construction for about 18 months.
Construction is still under way on the 400-bed jail in the complex and that portion may not be operational until June or July, according to county officials.
In addition to the county's justice operations, the complex has a helicopter landing pad and will function as the county's central fuel depot. The complex is adjacent to the county's new fairgrounds, occupying more than 20 acres between 650 West and 1100 West.
County employees will be taken on familiarization tours of the complex Friday afternoon. Public tours are tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 13, coinciding with National County Government Week.
The county has also settled on a tentative plan for utilization of the empty office space in the courthouse and jail annex next to it, Commission Chairman Gayle Stevenson said.
The jail will be closed when the inmates are moved to the new complex this summer, but it could be reactivated to house weekend, minimum-security and work-release prisoners, according to Stevenson.
The portion of the jail that currently houses those prisoners in a dormitory configuration, however, will be converted to office space for the county's council on aging.
Stevenson said housing minimum-security prisoners in the current facility will separate them from prisoners being held on longer sentences and make it easier to handle them.
"That's still up in the air. We don't have a plan in concrete on that yet, and we also don't have the revenue or staffing at this point to do it," Stevenson said.
The county is negotiating to house overnight or short-term prisoners from other agencies, such as the federal marshal's service, on a pay-per-prisoner basis, Stevenson said.
If those negotiations are successful, that money would be used to keep the minimum-security jail in downtown Farmington operational.
Stevenson said the reorganization plan is designed to extend the life of the courthouse for another half-dozen years.
"We hope this plan will take us down the road for six to eight years, handling the anticipated growth of county government for that period," Stevenson said.
"We're trying to do this gradually, moving agencies into offices as the space is available and with a minimum of moving walls around and other expensive remodeling," the commission chairman said.