A lack of space in the Ward County Courthouse is back on the list of pressing concerns. It never really left the list, of course, it was replaced by the catastrophic Souris River flooding events of 2011.
The county's needs are the same as they were a year ago, and similarily, there's still no simple or inexpensive solution to the space problem.
The county commissioners formed a 10-person committee months ago, tasked with familiarizing themselves with a proposed county office building project, promoting the office space needs and acting as an advisory committee. An architect was also directed to begin designing the new building, which is to be built in the vacant lot directly north of the courthouse. At their meeting last week, commissioners agreed that it was time to resume action on the building project.
They're absolutely right.
The lack of office and storage space has been a serious issue for years, and while it's been put on the back burner because of the flood, the issue hasn't gone away or gotten any better. In fact, it's gotten worse. It's also time to revisit the issue because the owners of the building where Ward County Social Services are located are looking to renew their lease with the county. If the county is going to build a new office building, does it need to renew that lease?
We understand there will be sentiment that the county has more important problems to solve before worrying about office space. But many of the flood issues won't be solved quickly, and the space problem has been put on hold long enough.