Courthouse costs mounting due to fire damage

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The County Board staff is temporarily working out of the Coggs Center after an electrical fire shut down the Milwaukee County Courthouse on July 6th.

"It's been a struggle," said County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic. "We're doing the best we can to serve the pubic."

Employees are cramped in a smaller office after the fire left County Board offices damaged and covered in dust.

"The ceiling panels are out and the electrical wires are exposed. There is plastic all over our desks and the floor is quite dirty," said Dimitrijevic.

Working conditions are not the only concern for the City, as costs to repair the courthouse are mounting. Two massive generators are powering more than a million square feet to employ overtime workers and repair damages.

County Executive Chris Abele is hopeful insurance will cover most of the hefty price tag, but he won't comment on numbers or specifics.

"It would be irresponsible to take a guess at it," said Abele. "The overall big number figure, it's going to be no less than is necessary and no more than is necessary."

County officials say crews will work through the weekend. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of the Courthouse will be open to the public on Monday, July 15th.

Opening those floors will allow all Criminal, Family, Small Claims Cases and Jury Trials to resume.