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ADRC Board on record against municipal court in Lincoln Center building


STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- Plover and Stevens Point will soon have their municipal court up an operating, but where?

There are a few facilities that could handle the space and the parking for a municipal court, which would likely operate in the evening. One facility under consideration has a group of its daytime users concerned. The Aging and Disability Resources Board which oversees the Lincoln Center has several concerns about using the building for court.

Portage County Executive Patty Dreier attended Thursday’s board meeting, and says the board went on-record opposing the use of the building for municipal court.  “At this time, they didn’t feel that they had a good enough amount of information to take any other position since they have a number of different concerns.”

Dreier says the ADRC Board questioned how the building and its contents would be kept secure.  “The ADRC Board has concerns about safety and security, not just of individuals, but also the building as well. For example, there wouldn’t be folks around on staff when we have computers open in the lobby area that are used by seniors and other users during the day.”

Some board members felt mixing the two groups of people may not be a good idea.  “They’re concerned about a number of things related to security in the building, and around it, and the co-mingling of programs is like it’s a misfit to have folks coming in who have done something going against the law and then try to have other users in the building who are very vulnerable populations of people.”

Dreier says Portage County is looking at what the city and village’s court will cost them, since the county staffs many of the potential locations that may be used for municipal court.  “On the front end, it didn’t look like we had to hire extra staff on the county side of things just to accommodate this when you know that it’s going to take other revenues away from the county side of the operation.”

Dreier says they may not know what hidden costs there are since the new municipal judge will likely dictate the days and hours of operation, and nobody knows when that will be yet.