The Perry County Board of Commissioners continues planning for a new justice center.
Last Thursday, the commissioners saw additional property options they may not previously have been aware were available.
“The primary function of this exercise is to inquire with the general public and our local realty experts to see if there are properties in the community that may not be presently listed in real estate,” said Perry County Clerk Jared Kutz. “A couple of the properties proposed through this process are a combination of two properties. Individually the properties don’t fit the specifications of the inquiry, but combined, they do and this gives the Commission more available options to consider when choosing the best location for the Joint Justice Center.”
Ideally, the county would like to find a parcel that provides the opportunity for future expansion, according to Presiding Commissioner Mike Sauer.
“We can build what we’re looking at in four acres but we’ll never be able to expand,” said Sauer after the June 3 meeting.
Six proposals of various size and cost were reviewed at the June 3 meeting.
Accessibility will play a factor, according to Sauer.
“You can’t have one entrance and one exit to this place,” Sauer said. “If you have an emergency, you can’t have everyone going out the same place.”
“Previously, we were looking at three available properties that were actually talked about during the (Prop COPS) campaign for the sales tax,” Kutz said.
Two of those locations include acreage on St. Joseph Street, west of Church Street and south of North Street. Another one was along the Highway 51 bypass near the industrial park, east of Highway 61.
“The commission has contracted with Dille Pollard Architecture to perform a site analysis of properties being considered,” Kutz said. “Dille Pollard is experienced in these types of studies that will take into consideration the cost of the property, any excavation that my need to occur to prior to construction, and the property location. Dille Pollard will also facilitate public meetings with the departments that will ultimately work and operate in the Justice Center and with the general public to gain their input on the various properties as well.”
The county is seeking requests for proposal or qualifications, a process that will take several weeks.
“The commission is preparing a request for qualifications for a design criteria consultant,” Kutz said. “The design criteria consultant is similar to a project manager and will work with the commission on the building procurement process. This individual or firm will work very closely with the Commission in the coming months and years to make the Joint Justice Center a reality.”
The next county commission meeting will be Thursday, June 10, at 1 p.m.