MEDINA — Attendees of a rally on the steps of the Medina County Common Pleas Court — a historic building city and county officials are eyeing to replace — said Thursday that they have one big problem with the proposed plan: They haven’t had a chance to vote on it.
That was the main topic of a “Save Our Courthouse” rally that drew between 35 and 40 residents at 93 Public Square.
The proposed shared courthouse, which will house the common pleas and municipal courts, is expected to cost $38 million, a hefty price tag for a project voters will not weigh in on.
Donna Beheydt, a Democratic candidate for the 69th District of the House of Representatives, said she didn’t understand how commissioners were going to spend $38 million and not give the people a vote.
“We should have that vote,” she said. “It’s our tax money.”
Medina County Commissioner Bill Hutson said the project will be funded with bonds.
“It will be paid for with tax money,” he said.
Hutson said residents won’t be voting on the project.
“Medina County commissioners will make the decisions,” he said. “We have a responsibility to follow the law. It’s up to the commissioners to provide facilities to the county.”
Hutson said the decision was made a few years ago that a new courthouse was needed.
“It’s not appropriate for business,” he said. “It’s substandard.”
Hutson said the old courthouse, which was built in 1841, should not be touched.
“It’s an iconic structure,” he said.
He said the rest of the courthouse, including the new section, is impractical to renovate.
Bill Lamb, At-Large Councilman in Medina, said he’s not sure about the funding. He is sure that the courthouse should be saved from demolition.
“Once you take it down, it’s gone forever,” he said.
“There has to be a commitment to take care of those old buildings.”
Attorney Pam Walker said she’s heard the old funeral home (currently the prosecutor’s office) and the new courthouse could be torn down.
“Do we need to tear down these buildings?” she asked.
Walker said residents can keep up with the progress of the courthouse project at www.saveyourcourthouse.com.
She also reminded people to attend a public meeting in regards to the courthouse project at 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 22, at Medina City Hall, 132 N. Elmwood Ave.