Published On: Mon, Aug 4th, 2008

Cedar County breaks ground on $2.9 million Courthouse project


HARTINGTON— After nearly two years of discussion and debate, Cedar County officials broke ground Monday on a $2.9 million Courthouse additon and renovation project.
On Monday at 10 a.m., on the cross-sections of the sidewalk between the Courthouse and the Annex, onlookers watched as the County Commissoners dug their golden shovels into the dry soil.

Board Chairman Marlen Kraemer welcomed the spectators to the ground breaking ceremony.
“You’re standing right where our new air conditioned lobby is,” contractor Ed Bottolfsen said, “Can you feel it (the air conditioning)?” he joked.
The spectators listened to Kraemer and other commissioners, Dave McGregor and Frederick Pinkelman speak before watching all three grab the golden shovels and dig into the ground.
Architect Glenn Mannes also spoke, thanking many that helped make the project evolve through the past two years of planning.
“We primarily decided (in the beginning) that we needed better courtroom security,” Kraemer said.
The new elevator will help provide some of that.
The project that took over 24 months to plan, will only take a day to start.
“(It will start) tomarrow,” Kraemer laughed, “we start by closing the north entrance of the courthouse.”
The extensive remodeling and addition will take about 15-18 months, Kraemer said.
“We spent a lot of time making sure this was a wise addition,” he said.
After the groundbreaking, spectators were offered coffee and rolls inside, while the board went outside to meet with Mannes.
They discussed colors of brick and stone, and will do further investigation, but have a general color scheme that matches the original design of the courthouse.
Over the next year, the board expects many changes and anticipates meeting in the same spot 18 months from now for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.