Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Court could leave Middletown

Judge says old facility crowded

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Ohio's 12th District Court of Appeals will soon make a ruling that has nothing to do with lower courts' decisions: It will choose whether to stay in Middletown or relo cate.

        The court has outgrown its space in the Middletown city building, Judge William Young wrote in a letter to Butler and Warren county commissioners last week. Expanding to another floor of the building is a possibility, the judge said, but may not be the cheapest or best option.

        “We feel that construction of a new facility is the most practical solution to our problem, especially when considering the unique requirements of a court operation including security considerations,” Judge Young wrote.

        The court invited both counties' officials and the Middletown City Commission to suggest sites for a 12,000- to 15,000-square-foot building, plus a full basement.

        The court will make its decision based on “sound business principles without political considerations,” the letter declared.

        Butler and Warren counties both are eager to make the case for their community.

        “It's like any business; we'd like to keep it here in the county,” said Butler Commissioner Chuck Furmon. “I want to make sure we've tried everything possible to keep it in Middletown.”

        Commissioners will proba bly suggest alternatives elsewhere in Butler.

        The Warren commissioners also are brainstorming possible sites, including county-owned land on Justice Drive, near where the new county building is under construction, and on Ohio 63 just west of Lebanon, said commission President Pat South.

        Warren County would be a more central location for the eight-county district, which also includes Brown, Cler mont, Clinton, Fayette, Madison and Preble counties, Mrs. South said.

        Also in the running is a corner of Western Row Golf Course in Mason, which owner John Zopff has been trying to redevelop for commercial and residential use. That effort is now embroiled in a lawsuit.

        “It would enhance the rest of the site,” Mr. Zopff said of putting a court building there.


Indiana suspends gas tax
Mason-Montgomery Road: 'Can't stop the development'
U.S. ranks 37th in health care
Voucher appeal could be decisive
Ad helps arrest 20 offenders
RADEL: Lunch with Cliff
Juvenile status again sought
Lawsuit may not save house
Relief from heat in short supply
Gore promotes retirement plan during Ky. stop
   Voters take Gore's measure
Tristate A.M. Report
Alley to be renamed
Appeal by UC raises issues
Bunning, others want Richardson out
Changes afoot at Monroe Elementary School
KIESEWETTER: Channel 9's Joe Webb captures our 'Hometown'
City faces lawsuit
Council's meeting changed for more public involvement
- Court could leave Middletown
Decision on trial of teen delayed
Delhi's floral history on video
Developer is stalled once again
Gannett: Suit dodges blame
Get to it
GOP has hopes for Bush's visit
Hamilton Co. delves into the arts
Kidnap suspect faces trial on impersonation charge
Rains ease Kentucky drought
Sentencing closes in 1983 slaying
Society organizes cleanup
Swine salutes summer in fair fashion
Whalen picked for state board