Couthouse

Continuous expansion of Albany County’s drug court services is expected to push the county’s emergency management coordinator, Aimee Binning, out of the courthouse this year.

County Commissioners agreed to a plan Tuesday to rent an office in the UniWyo building for Binning.

Outgoing commission chairman Tim Chesnut, who’s been on the board since 1999, said he remembers instances in his tenure in which overcrowding has moved other departments out of the building — like when the local University of Wyoming Extension office moved to the fairgrounds.

However, Chesnut said those previously instances have always moved staff into other county-owned buildings.

Because the current county commission can’t bind the expenditures and actions of future boards, Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent said any lease agreement for Binning’s future office should allow the county to opt out at the discretion of a future commission.

Trent said she hopes to be able to have Trent working in the new office by Feb. 1.

Much of the recent crowding in the courthouse is attributed to the expansion of the county’s drug court and diversion programs.

While the drug court has historically only treated 17 defendants at a given time, the program is being scaled up to 40 participants after Albany County was awarded a $1.23 million grant earlier this year.

Drug court director Amy Terrell is also hoping to hire a “peer specialist” after receiving other federal money.

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