What will the Law Enforcement Center and Courthouse Cost?
The estimated total project cost is $31.1 million. The referendum is for $29.9 million and $1.2 million are available from reserves if needed.
How can this facility grow with Warren County over?
The current 31,000 sq. ft. courthouse no longer meets the county needs. The proposed Law Enforcement Center and Courthouse estimated at 80,000 sq. ft. will meet planned county usage needs for 30 years and with planned additions, even longer. These projections are based on input from the Courts, County Attorney, Sheriff, Emergency Management and Shive-Hattery, the project architect. The design also includes 35-40, secure off-street parking spaces for people working in the facility.
Can this new Law Enforcement Center and Courthouse be expanded?
The new Law Enforcement Center and Courthouse incorporates an expandable design. Initially constructed with 4 jury courtrooms, space is included that can be finished for 2 additional courtrooms. Inmate housing will initially be 72 beds and by installing additional bunks, 16 beds can be added (total 88 beds). A second 32 bed housing addition is planned as well (total 120 beds). There is also an option to add a third floor to the facility at a future date if additional space is needed.
Why can’t the existing building be remodeled?
The design of the current 80 year old structure would require relocation of columns, floors and foundations limiting renovation options. Air handling, plumbing, and electrical infrastructure would need replaced, a new jail constructed off-site, at a prohibitive cost.
How will the new Law Enforcement Center and Courthouse be paid for?
If the referendum is passed, Warren County will issue a debt levy for $29.9 million. The debt will be paid over a 20 year time frame. Currenty, Warren County does not have any debt levy. If the referendum fails, County reserves may be depleted with possible property tax increases to fund transportation and housing inmates out of county. We are currently transporting and housing an average of over 40 inmates daily in other counties. Transportation is time consuming and expensive. We pay other counties fees to care for Warren County inmates subject to the costs of their jail operations and increase over time.
What can we expect with the new Law Enforcement Center and Courthouse ?
Depending on the election results, additional design and pre-construction would ramp up immediately. With the goal of construction in late Spring 2019 and estimated completion May of 2021.
Did you look at other locations and options?
Yes, property north, south, east and west of the city center we evaluated. Each purchase site was eliminated for a variety of reason. Being on the Square also brings traffic back to that area and eliminates the expense of buying land.