A Pulaski County Council member is calling on county officials to get to work on safety and security improvements at the courthouse. Toward the end of Monday’s council meeting, Kathi Thompson listed a number of concerns she’d like to see addressed.
“Some are major and will take a bigger amount of money; some are minor: cleanliness, repair and replacing the doors, fire alarms and smoke detectors,” she said. “We could start discussing a single point of entry. We need to discuss drainage.” She also suggested moving nighttime meetings back to the County Highway Garage, to avoid the need to prop doors open after-hours at the courthouse.
However, Thompson wants county officials to do some more research before moving ahead with larger-scale plans. Last year, officials unveiled a plan to tear down the courthouse and build new facilities, while a courthouse renovation plan was presented a few years ago. Thompson said they need to look at all the options before going forward. “The fact is, no matter what happens with this courthouse, it’s going to cost millions of dollars,” she said. “It’s going to cost millions for the plan that came forward. It’s going to cost millions if the courthouse is saved. There has to be more than one plan that we look at. We cannot look at one plan and make a decision about it.”
Thompson said she’d asked to have those concerns included on the agenda for Monday’s council meeting or possibly the joint session with the county commissioners, but her request was denied. But she acknowledged that it might be hard to address some of the issues at this point, since the commissioners haven’t appointed a permanent maintenance director yet.