By Alan Sorensen
There's still some finish work to do -- a security window here, a telephone jack there. And smell of new carpets and fresh paint hang heavy in the air.
But that hasn't stopped Hill County Sheriff Tim Solomon and his staff from moving into their new quarters adjacent to the Hill County Justice Center on West Second Street.
Earlier this week, Solomon and Undersheriff Don, with help from other county workers, moved nearly everything from their office in the basement of the courthouse into the new building.
"We still have a few little things to move," Brostrom said this morning.
All of the water closets are functional, including the two handicap-accessible toilets and showers and the break room. Shortly after 9 a.m. today, Patrick Construction employees towed away the last of the portable outhouses used during the building's construction.
Brostrom said the building is 32 by 72 feet, 2,304 square feet and affords personnel more room to work than they had in the Hill County Courthouse basement.
Sheriff Solomon's office is directly to the right of the front entrance, and Brostrom's office is the next door to the right.
Civil secretary and reception Vicky Thomas will be able to see people through a secure window as they come into the front entrance. She'll be speaking with them to determine whether to let them in or not.
Thomas' main office is larger than her old office with plenty of room for all of the department's files. Brostrom said the record files include the coroner's files, inner-office files, personal card files, jail files, and active-case files. There are two interrogation rooms along the south wall of the main office.
The restrooms down the hallway to the rear also have lockers for the deputies. A janitor's closet is just off the end of the hall before it empties into the deputies' work area.
The large work area at the back of the building contains four work stations with eight desks, one desk for each deputy. The desks are set back to back, with each set of two desks sharing a telephone and a computer.
The mechanical room just inside the back door that leads to the Justice Center contains the building's furnace, hot water heater, and computer wiring center.
The new building is equipped with its own microwave link to the Havre Police Department. Once it's activated, deputies and police officers will have direct access to each other's files and information. Deputies and officers attended computer software training at the police department all last week in preparation.
This week, Brostrom has been trying to hook up the department's telephone and computer systems.
All calls, including those to the 911 emergency number, 265-2512 and 265-9621, now go to the dispatcher's office in the Hill County Justice Center's detention center.
Voice mail for the sheriff is intended in the future, too.