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Bond measure likely for new Lane County Courthouse

Devon Ashbridge with the county said they are hoping the state picks up $94 million of the tab, leaving county taxpayers to pick up $158 million likey through a bond measure.

Posted: Jan 30, 2019 6:57 PM
Updated: May 21, 2019 6:23 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Lane County commissioners are hoping to build a new $252 million county courthouse, and a bond initiative could make it onto the May ballot.

Devon Ashbridge, spokeswoman for the county, said the current Lane County Courthouse was built in 1959 and is showing its age. Earlier this month, a busted pipe caused water damage on all floors and even shut down a courtroom for a couple of days. Security concerns and the building's small size are also motivating factors behind the commissioner's plans for a new, modern courthouse. If approved, it would be built on the lot of the old Eugene City Hall.

"We're at the point we're ready to really begin asking the Legislature for construction funding," Asbridge said.

She said the county is hoping the state picks up $94 million of the tab, leaving county taxpayers to pick up $158 million, likely through a bond measure.

"I wouldn't be opposed to that," Eugene resident Paul Calandrino said. "I think that if the building is in bad shape and needs repair and we need some more space for the county government, I would support that."

RELATED: LANE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DISCUSS PLANS FOR $251.9M COURTHOUSE

So just how much would this bond measure cost you?

Ashbridge said right now it comes to 29 cents for every $1,000 of assessed value on your home. For a $187,000 home, the median price in Lane County, that would add up to about $55 a year in added taxes. That cost won't go up, Ashbridge said, but it could go down before they put it to the voters.

"We are really taking a careful look now at potential opportunities to reduce that number and that potential ask of our local community," Ashbridge said. "We're looking at federal funding and any potential grants."

County leaders have until Feb. 26 to decide if the courthouse bond will go on the May ballot.

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