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S.D. Agrees To Land Swap With State For New Courthouse

Audio

Aired 11/3/09

San Diego County Supervisors have approved a land swap with the state that could result in a new county courthouse downtown by 2015

San Diego County Supervisors have approved a land swap with the state that could result in a new county courthouse downtown by 2015.

A California law passed in 2002 transfers responsibility for court buildings from counties to the state. Instead of simply handing over the court facilities, San Diego County has reached a deal that allows the county to keep control of two downtown court facilities in return for giving the state a block of land to build a new courthouse.

County Board Chair Dianne Jacob says the amended agreement benefits all stakeholders.

“It’s a good deal for the courts,” she said. “It’s a good deal for the state, a good deal for the county and a good deal for the taxpayers, so, as Supervisor Cox says, it’s a win, win, win, win.”

The state has earmarked more than a billion dollars in bonds to build a 17-story courthouse in San Diego with over 70 courtrooms. In the current economic climate there’s no guarantee that promise will be kept.

Supervisor Greg Cox led the negotiations with the state. He says the offer of a prime downtown location makes it more likely the project will become a reality by 2015. Under the agreement, if the state constructs a new courthouse on the land the county is handing over, the state will also build a secure corridor from the facility to the county jail located next door.

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