Morgan County Courtroom, Jail to Recieve Upgrades with ARPA Funding

By Jeremy Coumbes on April 12, 2022 at 2:34pm

The main courtroom in the Morgan County Courthouse is getting more major upgrades.

The Morgan County Commissioners approved a pair of ordinances this morning approving upgrades to both the courtroom and the Morgan County Detention Facility this morning.

The courtroom will soon undergo a complete overhaul of the electrical system thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. Commissioner Chair Bradley Zeller says updating the wiring in the courtroom is long overdue and has been on the Commissioner’s radar for quite some time. He says the ARPA funds allow for them to expedite the process now as finding room in the budget has been very difficult.

With that project, it will be a completely new wiring system with a new lighting system that will be more architecturally correct to the courtroom so we are excited about that process. The existing lights have been up there forever and we can’t even get bulbs for them anymore, so this was a project that’s long overdue.”

The courtroom electrical upgrades combined with last month’s announcement by the Circuit Clerk that a Technology Modernization Grant is providing for replacing the old sound system in the courtroom along with an electronic lobby docket system.

Also approved this morning was an ordinance for upgrades to the locking security and HVAC systems at the Morgan County Jail. Zeller says both have also been long overdue for an upgrade.

The security system and the heating and air conditioning have been in since the jail was built in the middle 1980s. Parts, reliability, all these things along with airflow throughout the jail will be improved through this project and it is long overdue as well.

They did the initial walk-through with it on Friday as well. Of course, we haven’t received any bids or anything like that yet it’s just the start of these projects. But they are two projects that really need to be accomplished for Morgan County and we are really glad that we are able to do them.”

The long-awaited update to the county phone system has also begun to be installed at the courthouse. Zeller says once the new internet phone system is in and the bugs are worked out, the billing will be consolidated and the new equipment will allow for increased reliability and features such as integrated zoom meeting calls allowing the courthouse to keep up with the changing ways people communicate with technology.