State plans new 6th District Court on old MIBA site
Funding and specific plans not final,
Legislature will consider next session
By James Tilson
MANTI—A recent land transaction will lead to the creation of a new state district court in Manti.
The City of Manti accepted an offer from the State of Utah to purchase the Manti Improvement Business Association (MIBA) Building at 47 N. 100 East after a public hearing on May 2 for $120,000.
At the time, the state had not announced the purpose for which the property would be used. Now, however, the state says the property will become, at least partially, the site of a new state district court.
Marilee Richins, Deputy Executive Director of the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), confirmed the sale of the MIBA Building in Manti was for the purpose of gathering property for the construction of a new Sixth District courthouse.
Richins, in her role as Dep. Executive Director of DAS, is also in charge of the Utah Division of Facilities Construction and management (DFCM). She said during this preliminary stage her department is responsible for moving things forward. A final plan or budget is “way down the line; we’re not even close to that yet.” The project has not been presented to the legislature for funding yet, although it would be on the next session beginning in January, she said.
At this point, the state has not completed purchases for the future courthouse. Although Richins said that future purchases will occur, no parcels have been identified yet.
Wendell Roberts, the Trial Court Executive for the Sixth District Court in Richfield, said any new district court will need a certain amount of acreage to make it work, although he admitted the courthouse could expand upward if necessary.
Roberts added that plans for a new courthouse in Manti included having the building located in the downtown area, to be close to local businesses. However, no actual plans will be started until the legislature decides how much funding to devote to the building.
Geoffrey Fattah, Communications Director with the Utah State Courts, said preliminary plans are for the new courthouse to be 28,000 square foot facility, to house the district and juvenile courts, as well as offices for Guardian ad Litem and juvenile probation.
Fattah said the District courthouse is badly in need of an upgrade. “The current county building is over 100 years old and does not meet the current security and operational standards for a modern courthouse,” he said. “By building a dedicated courthouse, it will greatly improve overall security for patron, judges and staff, and will also improve court operations.”