Victoria commissioners consider issuing bonds for courtroom expansion
Sept. 23, 2013 at 4:23 a.m.
Updated Sept. 24, 2013 at 4:24 a.m.
The need for courtroom space in Victoria County could spill over into the old firehouse on Forrest Street if commissioners approve a proposal presented Monday.
Before any construction or restoration begins, commissioners must decide how they plan to fund the estimated $2.4 million project.
While the county maintains its $11.6 million reserve fund, the county's financial adviser, Robert Henderson, managing director of RBC Capital Markets, spoke Monday about the possibility of issuing bonds.
Commissioners will meet Oct. 1 to decide whether to take on debt and how much they need.
Architect Rawley McCoy's plan to renovate the historic firehouse and connect it to the existing courthouse is one of $4.9 million in capital improvements commissioners will consider funding with debt.
County Judge Don Pozzi said he "firmly believes" the debt issue will be approved.
"The question is going to be how much debt to issue and whether we proceed with all these projects," he said.
He wants to see all the projects completed within the next three years.
Commissioner Danny Garcia said the courthouse expansion goes hand in hand with the county's growth.
"We know crime comes with growth," Garcia said.
Because the county cannot tear down the historic firehouse, restoring it and putting it back to use is a practical project, Garcia said.
Once complete, commissioners will meet on the second floor of the restored firehouse, and its current meeting space will be given to County Court at Law No. 1.
The renovation plan would include joining the two buildings together via a glass walkway, with the secure entrance remaining on Bridge Street.