Steele County Board updates public on courthouse repair timeline - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Steele County Board updates public on courthouse repair timeline

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OWATONNA, Minn. (FOX 47) -

The Steele County Board of Commissioners gave the community an update on repairs to the Steely County Courthouse at a special meeting Tuesday night.

Back in January, a pipe burst in the attic of the courthouse, filling most of it with water, and severely damaging most of the building.

Since the incident, the Steele County Board of Commissioners has been holding frequent meetings to continuously update the public on progress.

As of now, there's still a very long way to go.

"At first it was one of disbelief. Not believing that something like that could happen,” said County Administrator Laura Elvebak.

It all started on January 10th, when a pipe burst in the attic of the Steele County Courthouse.

"Because it was during a work day, we wanted to make sure that the building had been evacuated properly and that the water had been shut off completely and clean up could begin," explained Elvebak.

Since the incident, the building has remained closed and all operations have taken place in other buildings.

For example, Court Administration services have been taking place in the City of Owatonna Fire Hall and Detention Center, as well as the Steele County Administration Center.

Probation services have been going on in the County Office Building and the Administration Center.

"We have worked very hard to get the information out to the public so that they can go to the correct location," said Elvebak.

Soon after the incident happened, Steele County approved emergency funds to make repairs on the old courthouse, if insurance doesn't cover all costs.

"We're working with our insurance provider to see what's going to be covered, what's not. If there's any additional work that the county would like to take on, at this same time," said Elvebak.

A special meeting on Tuesday gave an update on progress of those repairs.

No actual repair work has been done, it's still at the very early stages of the process.

"We're still in the process of evaluating of what the scope will be, what the damages are and then we hope to get some contractors in to get started on that work as soon as possible," explained Elvebak.

Throughout the repairs, the hope is to keep a lot of the rich history in tact.

"It is on the National Register of Historic Places and so it is a very important asset to our community, and especially for it's historic value," added Elvebak.

And thankfully, there does seem to be a light at the end of this very dark tunnel.

Elvebak said if it were up to her, the building would be “up and running tomorrow!”

The Steele County Board plans to hold continuous meetings with project managers throughout construction and repairs, to make sure the repairs are complete in a timely fashion.

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