YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – After years of complaining about the conditions at the Youngstown Municipal Court, the judges may get what they’ve been asking for: A new home.
The issue has been so contentious over the years that at one point, judges actually filed a lawsuit to get better quarters.
Now, lawyers for both the judges and the city are working on an agreement to move the courts, the clerk, probation and prosecutor out of City Hall and into the old Post Office Annex at the intersection of West Front St. and Market St.
Youngstown Mayor John McNally said he hopes to have a plan submitted to city council the week of June 1.
The judges filed a complaint in 2009 with the Ohio Supreme Court under then-Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams about the conditions of the court.
“If we can get this thing wrapped up pretty quickly, we’d like to start some repairs and renovations to the roof later this year,” McNally said.
McNally said renovations could cost about $7 million, with most of that being paid for using court fees. Mike Thompson, the president of the local bar association, said that a deal for new space is long overdue.
“This is the best legal news I’ve heard this year,” Thompson said. “This court facility has been out of date and inadequate for decades.”
But not everyone is pleased with the way things seem to be falling into place. Youngstown Municipal Clerk of Courts Sarah Brown-Clark said that the courts need new space, but no one in charge told her how her office and staff will fit in.
“If a move is imminent, it would seem to me that they would have engaged me in the discussion,” Brown-Clark said. “So if they go to council, I will go to council and ask council to table that until there has been an opportunity for all of us to discuss the matter.”
The Mayor said he expects to meet with Brown-Clark soon to iron out her concerns.