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Box Elder County's two justice courts in Tremonton and Willard will be combined next February, and a new judge also will be appointed.

The Box Elder County Commission made the change official recently when commissioners signed both a resolution and an ordinance drafted by Box Elder County Attorney Jon Bunderson eliminating the two courts and forming a new one.The new court will be housed in the Box Elder County Courthouse in space vacated by the state courts when they make their pending move into a new facility in Brigham City.

The change will save the county an estimated $70,000 per year, mostly in rent and wages.

The single court is still expected to bring in the approximately $350,000 yearly revenue of the current one.

Over the objections of Commissioner Allen Jensen, who said mayors and judges involved have not had sufficient time to discuss their concerns regarding the combination, the commission took action immediately due to time constraints.

If the two courts had not been eliminated, Judges Lorin Facer and DeVerle Payne would have stood a retention election in November, and the ballots needed to be printed right away, according the the recorder/clerk's office.

Although the action is official, commissioners will hear further input from the mayors and judges in Tremonton and Willard who have several concerns, according to Jensen.

If commissioners decide that two courts are still preferable, such action can be taken through another resolution and accompanying ordinance.