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Midland Center is not the solution for county offices

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

It’s become clear that the Garfield County Courthouse just isn’t large enough for the growing demand of its multiple judicial and administrative offices.

Very simply, the courthouse is over capacity.

County officials have expressed interest in a newly built building called the Midland Center west of Glenwood Meadows.



A solution is needed, but there needs to be more possibilities on the drawing board. The Midland Building doesn’t seem like it’s the best solution for this problem.

We just can’t support a decision that would move some of the county offices away from downtown Glenwood Springs.



It also sounds like the building itself is not ideal and will need major changes to fit the needs of the county offices that would move there, which includes clerk and recorder, assessor and treasurer.

Having all the administrative offices in one place makes it easy for residents to take care of multiple duties at the courthouse with just one stop.

There’s also an economic impact that should be considered. Whether it’s the county employees or residents who come downtown to take care of their county business, moving the offices will take dollars away from the downtown restaurants and shops.

Since the state of Colorado authorized additional judges for the 9th Judicial District, the courthouse has struggled with its capacity.

Commissioner John Martin has voiced his opposition to the possible move to the Midland Center. The price tag for the building hasn’t been released, but figures from $6 million to $7 million for the building and several more million to retrofit the facility have been tossed around.

We have a big problem with discussions of retrofitting a building to meet the needs of the county. If the county is going to spend more than $10 million to solve this problem, a better alternative should be sought.

We feel that remodeling a building to fit certain needs is basically the same as trying to cram the proverbial square peg into the round hole.

There are a number of problems with this proposal, and that’s why the county needs to return to the planning stage. A quick decision now will lead to problems later.

There won’t be an easy solution, but this feels like a quick fix to a problem that should be discussed a great deal more.


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