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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - "Petitioners ax plans to fix Brown County Courthouse"

Updating several earlier ILB entries under the heading "Some Brown County Residents Protest Courthouse Remodel Bonds", Laura Lane of the Bloomington Herald-Times reported Friday ($$):

There’s no bathroom for jurors, and the jury room is quite small. Some parts of the building are not easily accessible to people with disabilities. Anyone who needs to visit the court office must walk through the courtroom, even during trials. Reams of county records are stored a few miles away in the jail basement.

And those issues will remain at the Brown County Courthouse for now. Preliminary results from petitions show citizens have axed the plan for a $6.5 million bond issue that would have funded a courthouse renovation and expansion.

Taxpayers revolted this summer, and a remonstrance followed. The deadline for turning in petitions was Monday. By Friday, the result was clear: Brown County voters overwhelming do not support a tax increase that would cost them $22 for every $100,000 of assessed property.

County commissioner John Kennard was reeling from the thumbs-down results. “It looks like it might be 1,200 to 200, and that is really surprising,” Kennard said Friday afternoon. “I thought we got the news out about how important this is. Maybe people don’t care. I asked everyone I could to just walk through the courthouse to see the needs before deciding. It doesn’t look like many of them did.”

His disappointment was evident. “You cannot put a person in a wheelchair in our jury box area, and the courthouse bathrooms do not meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities) standards,” he said. “Here we had a chance to take care of those issues at a low interest rate and people voted it down.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 15, 2013 06:25 PM
Posted to Indiana Government