A plan to renovate the Pulaski County Courthouse and expand the Justice Center has gotten the support of the county council, but not without a few concerns. Back in December, the county commissioners agreed to pursue a project that would restore the courthouse and install a security checkpoint, but move Circuit Court to the Justice Center. On Monday, the county council voted six-to-one to support the project and try to fund it.
Mike Tiede cast the lone opposing vote. “I feel we’re eating our grandchildren on this project because I think we could do a little bit at a time and not have to eat my grandchildren,” he commented.
Tiede questioned whether the estimated $7.7 million project would be funded entirely through bonds or if the county would try to use some of its savings. Council President Ken Boswell replied that it will likely depend on the recommendation of the financial advisor the county hired. Legislation allowing the county to extend a local income tax to help repay a potential bond is currently awaiting final approval from Governor Eric Holcomb.
Meanwhile, Council Member Rudy DeSabatine wanted to make sure the project would allow the county to move all of its offices out of the Annex Building on Riverside Drive. Project liaison Nathan Origer said it should be possible, but there’s still some concern about finding space for Purdue Extension. “Everybody else over there fits into the courthouse, and even Extension might,” Origer explained. “It just gets out into some really weird layouts, but that might be workable.”
Some of the council members questioned whether the county is obligated to provide office space to Purdue Extension, while Council Member Brian Young felt the county should explore the use of the Highway Garage as a potential location.