Judicial center to get $12.3M expansion
The Newton County Judicial Center will be expanded soon after a unanimous decision by the Board of Commissioners (BOC) to utilize excess funds from the 2011 Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax was passed Tuesday evening.
The additions will include a third-floor expansion to the judicial center and were passed in the 2011 SPLOST, but county estimates for design, renovation and expansion were under the accepted proposal from Hogan Construction Group.
Hogan’s estimate was $12,382,450, exceeding the $7,000,000 assigned from SPLOST revenues by the county.
The BOC agreed to pay the difference out of SPLOST funds that have exceeded the $57,600,000 predicted to be raised by the 2011 tax.
“I just want to thank judges for their patience,” said District 3 Commissioner Nancy Schulz, who was a BOC member in 2011. “This is a big relief for us to have our day today.”
In a symbolic gesture, all five commissioners agreed to be recorded in the minutes as making the motion, and offered a second motion to utilize excess SPLOST funds to pay for the complete judicial center expansion.
“It is a good day for the citizens of Newton County and the people who want their cases moved up a little faster,” said District 4 Commissioner J.C. Henderson, who was also on the board in 2011.
Superior Court Judges Samuel Ozburn, Horace Johnson and Ken Wynne were present for the vote, held in the Historic Courthouse.
“We appreciate your confidence and we are looking forward to working with you in completing this in a way Newton County and its citizens can be proud of,” Ozburn told the BOC. “We will put it to good use.”
Mayors and city managers from Newton County’s municipalities gather around a table with Newton County Chair Keith Ellis, County Manager Lloyd Kerr and County Attorney Megan Martin at the Newton County Historic Courthouse Tuesday.