Portage County – On Monday, April 4, Portage County residents are invited to attend a public meeting at Maplewood Career Center to discuss whether the county should build the new County Court House in the city of Kent or explore the ability to place this court house in another location.
The meeting, which is being hosted by the Portage County Commissioners, will begin at 6 p.m.
This seemingly controversial topic stems around the need for an updated court house to replace the outdated building currently housing the municipal court in Kent.
Ohio law currently requires that the court house be located in the city of Kent, however the Ohio legislature can change the law.
The “leading site” in Kent is in the downtown area. The original asking price for the 2 acre lot was $1.6 million and has recently been appraised at $980,000.
Portage County already owns land in Kent, including the current court house, but has been advised that the current site and an additional vacant lot are “not feasible” for new construction or remodeling.
The county also owns property on Infirmary Road in Shalersville Township (near the County Jail), and the site where the Ravenna Court House is located. Other sites have not yet been identified.
Estimated cost for the construction of the proposed new court house is $8 million. This court house would be approximately double the size of the current one located in Kent.
The purpose of this public meeting is to allow Portage County citizens the opportunity to voice their opinion and ask questions of the Commissioners.