Vilas County had sought a second circuit court judge in 2017 but was turned down but that proposal appears to be changed after the county received correspondence from the Director of State Courts indicating that “one additional circuit court branch will be created in each of the following counties; Adams, Eau Claire, Vilas, and Waushara.”
That action was authorized in Wisconsin 2019 Act 184 that stated “. . .before November 14, 2021, the director of state courts may add 4 additional circuit court branches, to begin operation on August 1, 2022.”
While the state will cover the salary of the circuit court judge, it is the responsibility of the county to provide the additional office space, support staff, and other necessary court spaces to accommodate a second judge.
The Vilas County Public Property committee felt the existing court floor space can be remodeled along with construction of a hearing room in the “unbuilt” area of the latest courthouse addition.
The board of supervisors then approved withdrawing $650,000 from the undesignated general fund for circuit court office space remodeling and new construction and to have The Samuels Group prepare architectural and engineering drawings and bid ready document and to facilitate the receiving and opening of bids.
The initial election will be held April of 2022 with the second judge to take office on August 1, 2022 and serve a six-year term ending July 31, 2028.