Local Pictures
Classified Ads
 Announce Births
Email Us
Buy A Copy
Local Links

Issue Index

02-27-04: OBES building in St. Marys sought to house county court


WAPAKONETA — Auglaize County Commissioners are pressing forward with plans to buy the former Ohio Bureau of Employment Services (OBES) building in St. Marys to house the now-dislocated western branch of the county municipal court system.
Commissioners agreed Thursday to submit a formal offer of $198,000 for the building, located at 114 N. Main St. The 3,600-square-foot building is owned by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the sale must be approved by the state Department of Administrative Services.
Commissioner Ivo Kramer said a state official working with local officials has recommended the state sell the building.
The future of the western court branch in St. Marys has been in limbo since 1998, when the office outgrew its quarters on Spring Street in downtown St. Marys. County officials appeared close to a couple of solutions back then, including buying the OBES building and building a new office, but both plans fell through. The court eventually found a temporary home in St. Marys but had to vacate that office when the building was sold late last year. All court proceedings are now being held in Wapakoneta.
Kramer said county officials are certain the building would be a suitable solution to the court’s needs, although some renovations likely would be necessary.
The possibility of the court finding a new, permanent home came as good news to people in St. Marys, New Bremen and Minster. Police officers, attorneys and people summoned to court in the western part of the county long have hailed the convenience of having a St. Marys court branch. Municipal leaders say the western court branch saves taxpayers money by reducing the time police spend in court.
“If this goes through, this is good news. This is obviously what we’ve been waiting for,” St. Marys Safety-Service Director Mike Weadock said.
St. Marys Mayor Greg Freewalt and the mayors of the villages have also been vocal proponents of bringing the western branch of the court back to St. Marys.
Kramer said even if the sale is approved quickly, it likely would be six months or more before court proceedings could begin at the facility. That is because renovations are necessary to outfit the office for court use, Kramer said. County officials are hoping to pull the same renovation plan that designed several years ago before state officials unexpectedly removed the building from the market.
If the sale goes through, no tax dollars would be used to buy the office, Kramer said. The municipal court has a capital improvement fund built from court costs paid into the court with at least $220,000 available, he said. That means county officials likely would not even have to finance the purchase.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2003
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822


L10 Web Stats Reporter 3.15 LevelTen Hit Counter - Free Web Counters
LevelTen Web Design Company - Website Development, Flash & Graphic Designers