Linn County issued the following release on July 29:
Linn County Juvenile, Traffic and Small Claims Courts, as well as Administrative Services, will move to the Palmer Building on the corner of Fifth Street and Second Avenue in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, July 30, 2008.
Approximately 40 probation officers, 30 clerks of court, Linn County Magistrates, District Court Associates and several civil attorneys will also begin operating from this temporary location on July 31. According to Mike Goldberg, Administrative Services Director, court-related functions will occupy the basement and the first floor of the building and Juvenile probation officers will occupy half of the second floor.
Linn County Administrative Services, the Board of Supervisors, a portion of the County Attorney’s Office, Finance and Budget, Human Resources, and Risk Management will occupy the remainder of the 2nd and all of the 3rd floors. Each floor has about 8,400 square feet of usable space.
“We initially leased the building for the portion of the State court system that will not be able to return to the first floor of the Courthouse for some time,” Goldberg said. “It then seemed logical to move the administrative functions to this temporary location and keep the criminal courts in one place. Jury trials will be held in the rooms vacated by County Administrative Support Services and the Board of Supervisors at Kirkwood’s Continuing Education Building until the return to the upper floors of the Courthouse in October,” he added. “They’re happy to all stay in one place – and it is more efficient.”
Goldberg also said that the Administrative Support Services and Board of Supervisors move to the Palmer Building meets the FEMA reimbursement requirement of moving to “comparable pre-disaster” space. The Palmer building was already furnished and wired to meet Information Technology (IT) needs. “Parking will be a challenge, but we just keep reminding people that this is temporary,” Goldberg said.
The Board of Supervisors will hold some meetings at Westdale Mall to meet with county staff located there.
“While there have been challenges relocating county offices, everyone is doing an excellent job,” said Linda Langston, Chairperson of the Linn County Board of Supervisors.
Linn County has leased the space and furnishing at $38,000 per month for one year. FEMA will compensate the County for expenses associated with temporary relocation of critical functions. Telephone numbers for the county departments housed in this building will remain the same.
County buildings damaged by the flooding are being evaluated by architect and engineering teams. Discussion of buildings and their future uses is anticipated to begin in the near future as the engineering and architectural evaluations are completed.