Gallatin County Law and Justice Center Rendering

This rendering of the Gallatin County Law and Justice Center offers a view of the prospective building’s West entrance.

With nine weeks until Election Day, Gallatin County officials have scheduled several public events to educate voters about their plans for a new Law and Justice Center.

The county will host tours of the existing building with the commissioners, judges, sheriff’s office and county attorney’s office on Sept. 19, Oct. 1, Oct. 10 and Oct. 28, beginning at 6 p.m. Those who can’t make those times can contact the county at 406-582-3008 to set up a separate tour.

During the tour, county officials will give a short presentation about the proposed building and will lead a walk-through of the center.

County officials will also be available to answer questions about the project at several events including the Bogert Farmers Market on Tuesday evenings, the Three Forks Farmers Market on Thursday evenings, the Belgrade Fall Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Sept. 21, and Montana State University’s homecoming parade from 9 a.m. to noon on Oct. 12.

The county is asking voters to approve a $59 million bond issue to pay for the new Law and Justice Center. The bond would increase taxes $34.10 annually for the owner of a home assessed at $200,000.

The county also plans to contribute $6 million from savings to the $65 million project.

The new building would include the sheriff’s office, victim services, the coroner’s office, district court, justice court, the county attorney’s office and youth court. County officials have said the new building will be safer than the existing Law and Justice Center and will meet the county’s space needs for the next few decades.

The county plans to schedule more events over the next couple of months. For updates, schedules and more information about the project, visit gallatincountymt.pt7.civic-cms.com/law-justice-center-bond.

County officials also are meeting with several local groups, including the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the League of Women Voters and the Gallatin Association of Realtors, to educate them about the project.

This will be the fourth time voters will be asked a ballot question related to the Law and Justice Center, a building the city and county now share. In 2014, voters rejected a $23.8 million bond issue for a city-only public safety center. In 2016, they turned down a $68.3 million joint city-county project. And in 2018, the county and city again worked on a joint replacement before the city went ahead with and received approval for a $36.9 million bond issue for its new public safety center.

Perrin Stein can be reached at 406-582-2648 or at pstein@dailychronicle.com. Follow her on Twitter @PerrinStein.

Perrin Stein is the county, state and federal government reporter for the Chronicle.

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