Courtroom improvements in store

Courtroom improvements in store by David Lias The courtroom located on the third floor of the Clay County Courthouse will soon be receiving a spruce-up.

The Clay County Commission agreed Tuesday to place new carpeting in the room.

Two local businesses presented bids for the project. The commission awarded the project to Brunick�s Furniture, which offered the low bid of $2,280.

That price will include removal of the present carpeting, and installation of the new carpeting and new vinyl edging.

The new carpeting must be installed before June 16, when the South Dakota Supreme Court is scheduled to hold a public hearing in the courtroom on proposed changes in the state�s circuit court system.

Commissioners also heard a report from State�s Attorney Tami Bern. She recently secured grant funds that make it possible to hire a part-time deputy attorney to prosecute domestic violence cases in the county.

Bern told the commissioners she had hired Dan Fox, a Yankton attorney, for the job.

She said it was important to hire someone who resides outside of the county for this position to avoid conflicts of interest.

�He�ll do his next trial next Tuesday (May 4),� she said.

Bern added that the contract of Clay County�s new public defender, Phil Peterson, will need to be expanded to include alcohol committals and mental health committals.

Commissioners agreed to discuss those issues with Peterson.

In other action, the commissioners received the 1998 annual report of the Vermillion Public Library from Jane Larson, librarian.

Libraries throughout South Dakota are required by law to file such a report each year.

The report notes that the Vermillion Library underwent a complete renovation in 1998 that includes the addition of a technology center for public access to personal computers, re-carpeting, new lighting, construction of an activity room in the children�s department, re-upholstering of oak chairs, the addition of new furniture, a redesign of the south entry and the placement of ADA door operators.

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