Panel overrules Alpine County courthouse |

Panel overrules Alpine County courthouse

A California judicial panel is recommending pulling Alpine County’s new courthouse from a list of improvements in judicial facilities around the state.

We agree that the $26.3 million price tag was substantial, but there was word that the folks in Alpine County were trying to come up with options that would reduce the cost.

In addition to the cost of building a new courthouse, the same panel is recommending that those California counties that can afford to maintain their own courthouses do so.

The money for Alpine County’s courthouse was to come from additional fees placed on California motorists for traffic infractions.

But what $1.1 billion of that money actually did was help balance California’s state budget. That was enough to build 40 Alpine County courthouses at the highest rate.

We in Nevada have seen efforts by our Legislature to take money slated for other purposes rebuffed by the Supreme Court. It’s a bad habit for government to tell people that money’s being taken from them for one purpose and then apply it to something else.

Alpine County’s grand jury only had two investigations this year. The big one was the safety of the old courthouse, which was found more than wanting.

One thing’s for sure: Without help from the outside, Alpine County’s 83-year-old courthouse is going to continue to have to serve until California’s fiscal crisis subsides.