County inspecting old jail for hazardous materials with GFDA grant funding

Cascade County received a grant from the Great Falls Development Authority for up to $12,000 for a hazardous materials inspection at the old county jail, behind the annex and across the street from the district courthouse.

TD&H is conducting the inspection, which includes testing materials and determining the extent of the presence of any hazardous materials in the building, according to County Commissioner Jane Weber.

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Crews have been in the building this week and samples have been sent for testing, Weber told The Electric.

Once an inspection report is available, Weber said a local company intends to submit a big for abatement of the hazardous materials. Once the county has a bid price, it can submit a request to GFDA for additional Brownfield funding for the abatement work.

A firm price is needed before GFDA’s executive board can consider the request, Weber said.

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“We have no definitive plans approved by the commission at this point. My dream is to convert the building as an extension of our justice campus (the courthouse), making room if this county is mandated to have an additional District Court judge. We have the space in the old jail to move folks not associated with District Court just across the street (into the old jail). The jail and courthouse are companion buildings constructed of the same style and era and materials,” Weber told The Electric in an email. “There were conceptual drawings done by LPW before I was a county commissioner. Again, they have never been approved by the commission, but we can’t move forward with any re-purposing until the hazmat issue is resolved.”