Lane County to delay courthouse replacement efforts in recognition of economic uncertainty

Lane County to delay courthouse replacement efforts in recognition of economic uncertainty
Posted on 05/05/2020

Today, the Board of County Commissioners decided unanimously to postpone its planning for a new Justice Center; it will not pursue a bond measure this year.

The decision comes after a recommendation from County Administration, staff and representatives of the Circuit Court, District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office. The recommendation was made in recognition of the economic challenges faced by community members, small businesses, and local employers as a result of COVID-19.

“We did not make this recommendation lightly. The current courthouse remains inadequate and problematic,” said County Administrator Steve Mokrohisky. “But the project will have to wait. We simply cannot ask our community to fund a large project when so many people are facing economic uncertainty as a result of COVID-19. We have focused during the past several years on creating structurally balanced budgets and enhancing the stability of our services. It is with the same prudence that we are making this decision.”

The need for a new building remains and the District Attorney’s Office, Circuit Court and Sheriff’s Office will continue to be affected by inadequate space, failing building systems and increasing demand for services. The people who provide those services will continue to work within their means to serve their community and ensure that residents continue to have access to the critical services housed within the existing Courthouse.

Lane County will look for appropriate future opportunities to continue seeking to replace the current courthouse building. Efforts to replace the 60-year-old building have been underway since 2015.

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