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Bond measure could lead to new criminal justice complex in Benton County

When it comes to the iconic courthouse in downtown Corvallis, Nick Kruth said there are preservation plans in the works.

Posted: Feb 17, 2021 8:27 PM
Updated: Feb 17, 2021 8:50 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore.-- Benton County is looking to add a bond measure to the May 2022 ballot that will help fund a new criminal justice building.

The price tag for the bond hasn't been finalized yet, but the county is looking for it to be around $100 million. The money will be used to build a new courthouse, jail, and crisis resource center. The overall project would cost between $250-300 million. The rest of the money would come from state funds.

Nick Kruth, program manager for the Criminal Justice System Improvement Program, presented the plan to the Corvallis City Council Tuesday night. He told councilors the project is still in the pre-design phase and they've located potential sites for the buildings. The county will have designs for the community to weigh in on this summer. However, he said the project all depends if voters approve the bond measure.

Over the past two decades, there have been three attempts to build a new jail. In 2015, a $25 million bond measure was blocked by the voters.

One potential site for the complex is a site near the Hewlett Packard campus on the north side of the city. But there is a complication to that location. Recently, the city re-zoned the area to be for high-density residential use.

If voters do approve the bond, Kruth said construction will start right away. The plan is to open up the new buildings starting in 2025.

When it comes to the iconic courthouse in downtown Corvallis, Kruth said there are preservation plans in the works.

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