Dunn County Courthouse to get $1M remodelDue to an increased need for space because of oil activity, the Dunn County Courthouse in Manning is undergoing a $1 million expansion.
Due to an increased need for space because of oil activity, the Dunn County Courthouse in Manning is undergoing a $1 million expansion.
The existing facility, which was built in 1995, cost $570,000 to construct, said Reinhard Hauck, Dunn County auditor.
“We are getting federal mineral royalties money and oil revenues money that is going into this,” Hauck said. “It’s a needed project because the oil traffic increased the amount of records that we are required to maintain and also increased our court case load and our court services.”
The project gives the courthouse 3,500 additional square feet, he added.
The clerk of court and recorder’s offices are being expanded.
“Our books are being compressed and the original documents are sticking together, so we need to space them out to keep the originals of good quality so people can read them,” said Chris Larson, Dunn County clerk of court and recorder. “I opened a book and there was no writing on one page and all the writing on a separate document.”
Once the expansion is completed, she will see how many documents need to be replaced.
“What we’ll have to do is we’ll have to page through each book — and they each are about 500 to 600 pages — and we’ll have to look at each document,” Larsen said, adding there are more than 700 to go through.
The books contain all the documentation for Dunn County land, which is why the increase in oil activity has created the space issue, she said.
In addition, the sheriff’s department will get additional offices and the emergency manager will also have more space. A courtroom will be added, since the commissioners’ room is now used for a courtroom.
The expansion, which is slated to be done in December, will be more convenient for the public as well, Larsen said.
“Right now we’re running people into court in shifts because of the increase, and there’s more people and we don’t have enough room there,” Larsen said.
Oil revenue will be put toward other projects as well, Hauck said. Officials are looking into upgrading the county shop, but nothing definite has been planned, he said.
Next year, the county plans to do construction on 21 miles of road, he added.
“The roads will definitely have to happen or we won’t have anybody driving on them anymore,” Hauck said. “There won’t be any roads left.”
Del Olson, Dunn County road foreman, said heavy equipment transport and increased truck traffic in the county has wreaked havoc on many roads.
“It’s a constant battle,” Olson said. “It’s so bad you can’t even hardly keep up with the roads, they’re so beat up.”
The roads to and around the Killdeer Mountains are some of the worst, he said.
“It’s taking so much time to keep up in that mountain, some of the other roads get neglected a bit,” Olson said.
Hauck said the county is doing everything they can to keep up with the increased demands.