sheriff's office story- stu, justin 9.9.jpg

Custer County Sheriff Stu Lumpkin and Chief Deputy Justin Mitchell look over the preliminary drawing for the new Sheriff's Office they had input on at a Sept. 2 county commissioners' meeting. Commissioners directed Clerk Lura Baker to start advertising for bids on the 1,008-square-foot floor plan at the meeting.

After marking up a preliminary drawing of a new Custer County Sheriff’s Office Sept. 2, Custer County commissioners told County Clerk Lura Baker to start soliciting for bids on the 1,008-square-foot floor plan with their changes.

The 72-feet long, 14-feet wide design is meant to make up for deficiencies in the trailer the Sheriff’s Office is currently housed in, according to Baker and Sheriff Stu Lumpkin. During the commissioners’ meeting, Lumpkin said the office has been cited for multiple deficiencies, such as not have fire suppressing sprinklers and having a reception area that triples as a driver’s license testing station and a dispatch center.

Baker also recalled that in 2017, a section of the Sheriff’s Office roof fell in and caused water damage after heavy snowfall. At that point the trailer should’ve been replaced, she said, but the roof was simply patched. Commission Chairman Wayne Butts said in June 2020, when Challis City Council members approved the eventual construction of a Sheriff’s Office behind the county courthouse on Main, the 40-year-old trailer needed to be replaced a long time ago. It was meant to only be a temporary office space when it was installed, he said.

According to the preliminary floor plan submitted by Trent Roman of Northwest Planning and Design in Challis, dispatchers will have their own room. Commissioner Steve Smith, who attended the meeting by phone, told Baker to make a note that room needs extra-durable floors because county workers will be “zooming around” in their office chairs.

There will also be a dedicated testing station and space for two offices and an interview room, according to the plans. When looking at the floor plan, Butts noticed that doors would only be two-feet wide. In a phone call to Roman, he asked those be widen by a foot to make the doorways compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Also, Lumpkin and the commissioners said the interview room seemed too small on the draft drawing, so they decided to have Roman remove a counter in the reception area to widen that room by two feet.

The new office will connect to the county jail, according to the commissioners, like the current one. Baker explained no one knows if the new office will also be a trailer or a stick-built building. It depends on what contractors offer in the bidding process, she said, since the preliminary drawing is a starting point for what Lumpkin and his staff require in a headquarters.

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