At last week’s monthly Norwood Town Board of Trustees meeting, town officials discussed the idea of adding a courtroom onto the Norwood Community Center and Norwood Town Hall. Amanda Pierce, town clerk, told the board she was looking into a revitalization grant that could help offset costs.
Pierce asked trustees for “the blessing” to continue applying for the first round of the grant. She said the idea of a courtroom supports shared-use spaces, part of the grant application’s requirement. She said she’s brainstormed with town administrator Patti Grafmyer and town marshal Kattie Neesham, after a recent incident in municipal court that left them concerned. Pierce said continuing the municipal court as is could be unsafe for all parties, specifically the town judge.
Now, she’s aiming to begin applying for a grant to add 1,200 square feet onto Town Hall, including an emergency exit. She said the space can be used as a conference room too. She added that in the event of a wildfire or other emergency situation, the space could be used as a command center. Along with the addition, she said most everything in Town Hall would be updated, including the kitchen space.
Pierce already got letters of support from San Miguel County, Uncompahgre Medical Center and the West End Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC).
The grant does require a 50 percent match, though Pierce said other grants could help cover half of the estimated $400,000 project.
Trustee Jaime Schultz asked Pierce if the new San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office Annex in Norwood couldn’t be used for court, since it has a conference room and command center.
Neesham said it was designed in such a way that wouldn’t be conducive to court.
Citizen Molly Radecki, in attendance at the meeting, said in the public’s turn to comment the town was going for the wrong grant and the project needed more research. Trustee Shawn Fallon agreed with Radecki. Fallon expressed concern that the project seemed rather new and that the board wasn’t informed about it, while the town had other projects that might be more pressing.
Pierce said the idea of a new courtroom just surfaced after last month’s incident. She said it’s something the town needs to do, especially with new housing projects going up.
“It’s not feasible to have municipal court here,” she said, adding that she asked WEEDC for support, and the organization turned her onto the revitalization grant.
Mayor Kieffer Parrino said it seemed “smart” to keep moving on the opportunity.
Directly after the courtroom discussion, Kelvin Verity, of the Norwood Park and Recreation District (NPRD), asked the town for a letter of support to go for the same state revitalization grant. Already, NPRD went through the first round and is approved to move to the next round of applications. Verity said his organization is going for the grant to purchase the Oliver House, next door to the Livery space. He said when NPRD purchased the Livery in 2018, it couldn’t get the Oliver House, but the transaction needs to be finished now. He said the buildings work together and need to be reunited again under the same ownership.
According to Verity, the Oliver House “fits the grant description pretty well” and is one of the few buildings on the county’s historic register. He said the space is important to the Norwood community.
Norwood’s officials agreed to support NPRD with a letter of support in a motion that passed unanimously.