Judge declares need for new Municipal Court building - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Judge declares need for new Municipal Court building

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The building is nearly 40-years old and it needs replacing.  Toledo's Municipal Court building either needs an upgrade or a rebuild.  And one Muni-court judge believes a rebuild is the best option.

Sometimes a building outgrows its usefulness.  And Judge Michael Goulding believes the Municipal Court building is just too cramped to keep.   

It opened in 19-76 and fit the needs of the city then.   But over the years, the number of court cases exploded and space is now at a premium.

Judge Goulding told 13abc reporter Bill Hormann, "We have crowded hallways, we have crowded courtrooms, we can't fit everybody in the courtrooms.  We got defendants and their friends who are mingling with victims and their witnesses.  It really makes for an unsafe, packed environment."

And maintenance costs are high, the building has security issues and it's simply outdated.

So Monday, Judge Goulding spoke before a council committee and urged Toledo to find a way to build a new municipal court.

This issue's has been on the radar for nearly a dozen years.   Studies from 2004 and 2005 recommended creating a criminal justice center that would house a muni court for the city and a new jail for the county, along with some other departments.  The construction costs could run as high as $50-million."

Renderings of a new criminal justice campus were produced that would include Toledo and Lucas County departments.

Monday's hearing focused on just a new municipal court but Lucas County commissioners have been talking with the sheriff on building a new county jail.

Toledo city councilman D. Michael Collins (I) sees an opportunity for the city and county to work together.  He told 13abc, "It only makes sense to me that you will take the two governmental entities and you put them together and you resolve this issue to the best you can due to the limited resources we have due to taxes."

It will probably take a couple years to find the funding to create the new criminal justice center but there is interest by both the city and county.

Monday, the long process began.    

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