81 North Main Brigham City
DMV Hours: Mon. ~ Thurs. 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Justice Court Hours: Mon. ~ Fri. 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Citizen response has been very favorable about the new building with easy access and no stairs to negotiate.
Court trials have been held within the walls of the historic Box Elder County Courthouse for nearly 150 years. But now, similar to the building’s history of evolution over this past century and a half, the court saw an evolution of its own—right out of the building.
The Box Elder County Commissioners agreed it was a good move and just in time. Safety and security features used in most courts of today were unfeasible within the historic structure. Among other issues, the building lacked holding cells for prisoners, including separate restrooms for them; the prisoners were escorted through the same halls as the general public, and with four entrances, the building lacked a method to securely screen visitors.
In 2002, the then current county commissioners established a committee to make a study of the courthouse situation. The committee came up with three options, the first being to “do nothing at this time” which was quickly discarded with the consensus that the county had no time to “adopt a wait-and-see attitude.” The second option, to remodel the historic structure, was an idea that did not go far when looking into the inadequate utility systems and costly changes that would have been more expensive than a new cost-efficient building. The third option, to build, seemed the most viable, but local uproar over the final location chosen—in the parking lot south of the historic courthouse—left the county back at square one.
The matter was revisited in 2008 when an outside architectural consulting company was hired in anticipation of the renovation to the county building. The firm’s recommendation echoed that of the committee’s that it was past overdue for a new safer location for the court, but where exactly that should be was still not resolved.
A timely situation presented itself when Stock Building Supply announced the closure of its downtown Brigham City location in the summer of 2009 and the subsequent selling of its building and property. Within walking distance of the current courthouse, next door to the First District Court which shares security, and a nicely sized building at an attractive price, put all the pieces in the right place for the commissioners who jumped at the chance to purchase it for a future court house.
Renovation began in January, 2010. No financial bonding was required or tax increases were imposed on the citizens for either the purchase or renovation, since all was paid for with funds which had been saved for just such a day.
Given the size of the renovated building, it houses three county departments: the Justice Court, the County Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Motor Vehicle. This gives each department much-needed space and frees up area in the old building for expanding departments, and provides a place for the County Extension, which will be returning to the building in 2011.