Decisions loom for county buildings

With the move-in date for the Seneca County Justice Center a month away, some decisions will be awaiting.

The justice center could be occupied by the Seneca County Common Pleas Courts, Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court and Seneca County Clerk of Courts about this time next month. Then, the former Seneca County Courthouse Annex can fulfill its original purpose — following some renovation — and house the Seneca County Juvenile and Probate Court.

Then come some decisions.

One involves the current location of the juvenile and probate court, at 108 Jefferson St. What will be the next use for the former Carnegie Library? That answer may be up to an entrepreneur and/or a group of investors. But it is a prime location downtown, near the justice center and East Green pavilion.

Another decision involves the RTA Building, which houses offices for the Seneca County recorder, treasurer and auditor. Tuesday, Commissioner Shayne Thomas called the 1970s-era structure — originally a bank — a functional space, albeit an unsightly one.

While remaining in use, the RTA Building could see some changes. Or not. That is the decision.

There are multiple options for the structure, including:

• Leaving it as is.

• Cleaning and painting the exterior for around $20,000-$50,000.

• Remodeling the exterior to give it a more attractive appearance. Estimated cost, $200,000.

• Renovating the exterior to make it more compatible with the design of the justice center and annex. Cost, $500,000-$1 million.

• Moving the recorder, treasurer and auditor’s offices to another building. Potential cost, $4 million-$5 million.

There are other options, but let’s start with these. You can pick one with the online poll on our website.

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