The final test of civilization of a people is the respect they have for law.
—Lewis F. Korns
If Lewis F. Korns’ words, from his 1915 book “Thoughts,” are true, it could be said Grantsville City and its citizens have not only surpassed the “final test,” but have taken their respect for law to higher ground.
The evidence of which is found next to the Grantsville City Library on Bowery Street. There, the $3.6 million Grantsville City Justice Center, now stands. The nearly 13,000 square-foot facility is the new home for the Grantsville City Police Department and the Grantsville Justice Court.
After 11 months of construction, the building was finished last month and the police department and justice court quickly moved in from cramped quarters in Grantsville City Hall. The new justice center was dedicated and opened to the community during an evening tribute on Jan. 11 that featured a flag raising ceremony, patriotic music, tours, and speeches that hailed the edifice as a grand achievement.
And a grand achievement it is for Grantsville. But just as importantly, the process by which the justice center was conceived, evaluated, funded and built, was wisely done in a transparent, public manner that shows Grantsville City leaders don’t just give lip service to the law.
Our coverage of the project dates back to May 2015 when then Grantsville City Police Chief Kevin Turner shared preliminary concepts of the justice center with the City Council. At a projected cost of $4 million, Turner, Mayor Brent Marshall, the City Council and other officials began steps to remove design and construction options to lower the cost and make the justice center an affordable and responsible improvement for the community.
Those efforts ultimately cut construction costs by approximately $400,000. Numerous public meetings on the project continued with the City Council throughout 2015 and into the next year. By October 2016, funding for the project was finalized: The city would use $400,000 in public safety impact fees and $500,000 from the general fund’s reserve fund as a down payment. The balance would be paid for by a $2.7 million state Community Impact Board loan with a 30-year term at 2.5 percent interest.
After taking public comment on the state loan, the City Council approved it and construction began last January — without any talk of asking citizens to pay more in property taxes to cover the bill.
Approximately 100 citizens, both young and old, attended the dedication ceremony on Jan. 11. Their presence, and the new justice center, reaffirmed Grantsville’s furthering commitment to always be a community that respects and honors our nation of laws.
Grantsville City leaders and residents are acknowledged and congratulated for making the new justice center a reality. May it serve the community well for decades to come.