The old Stutsman County courthouse is in desperate need of repair. Tests have shown at least seven species of mold growing inside the building. And even though the building is no longer in use, it's becoming a safety hazard for those who work next door.
The oldest county courthouse in North Dakota has provided residents in Jamestown with many memories over the years. "My family worked here in the 1960's," says David Schwartz, Stutsman County Commissioner. "I spent a whole lot of time in this building," says Schwartz.
The building has since closed its door as a new courthouse was recently built right next door. "The building belongs to the historical society. There was some refurbishing done to it in the 90's," says Schwartz. But since then, the building hasn't been touched. "It's destroyed inside," says Schwartz.
The North Dakota Historical Society has asked for $60,000 from the state's emergency commission to start repairs on the building right away. It's because of the mold and asbestos inside the old court house that is starting to affect the new courthouse. "The air quality is horrible and it is going into the courthouse," says Schwartz. That's because the new courthouse is attached to the old one. "It's connected in four places. There was a wall built but it was not air tight. There is a concern with air quality. The quality is bad," says Schwartz.
Schwartz says something needs to be done to the old courthouse soon before the situation becomes any worse. "It's time something gets done," says Schwartz.
Commissioner Schwartz says the county does not have the money to fix the needed repairs and it will be up to the historical society to find the funds to do so.