New St. Clair Shores 40th District Court Building to Go to Bid
St. Clair Shores City Council voted 5-1 for administration to move forward with bidding for a new 40th District Court building on the site of the current facility at 11 Mile and Jefferson.
St. Clair Shores will seek bids for a new 40th District Court building to replace the current 80-year-old facility.
City Council voted 5-1 Monday to solicit bids for the proposed new $3.5 million building that would be constructed on the site of the current courthouse.
"There are significant needs of that building that have been put on hold," said City Manager Ben Hughes. "I think the time is now ... by not taking action we will be looking at significant Band-Aids repairs to our current building."
The proposed building would be funded by two sources. There is $1.8 million currently in the court building fund which has been collected through a $5 fee from civil infractions since the late 1990s.
The $1.7 million balance of the costs of the building would come from the sale of bonds, which city officials say are at historic lows. The bonds would be repaid through the nearly $180,000 a year collected annually by court.
The proposed building will replace a 9,000-square-foot facility that was originally built as a public works building in the late 1930s, and was renovated into a court facility in the 1970s.
The new building building is proposed to be 15,500-square-foot building that would address a number of current deficiencies and make it ADA compliant, improve building safety and the flow of prisoners and personnel through the building. It would also include on-site storage.
Under a plan discussed during the City Council meeting, the current court building would be demolished in September, and the court would temporarily operate out of leased space in a building on the St. Gertrude campus during the 9-12 months the new facility is constructed.
St. Clair Shores would lease the religious education building for $3,500 a month, and will use the first and second floors for court activities.
When completed, the new, one-story court building would feature a brick and glass exterior and would be moved closer 11 Mile.
Councilman Chris Vitale was the lone vote against moving forward with putting the project out to bid. He cited concerns about the proposed flat roof for the building, which would have a shorter life span, but also keeping the court in the same location instead of finding another location in the city.
"I think we looked at one old, over-priced, decrepit site and used that as justification to say we have build here, there is nothing else out there," Vitale said during the meeting. "I think to redevelop the corner of 11 Mile and Jefferson is giving medicine to a healthy person and we are denying it to the sick."