The Oregon State Legislature passed a bill yesterday authorizing $31.5 million in state funding for construction of a new Clackamas County Courthouse.
Securing the funding was the top priority for Clackamas County during the 2019 state legislative session. The county is seeking a total of approximately $95 million from the state of Oregon toward construction of a larger modern courthouse to be located on the Red Soils campus in Oregon City.
The existing county courthouse, on Main Street in Oregon City, was built during the 1930s when the population of the county was just over 50,000. The population today is more than 415,000, yet the same courthouse is being used.
In addition to being seismically unsound, the building is poorly designed and overcrowded, forcing crime victims and perpetrators together in hallways when they come to court.
The building also lacks the sufficient number of courtrooms to effectively administer justice for the county’s growing population.
This state funding will support design and pre-construction of a new courthouse building, and it represents the second round of state funds after the county secured $1.2 million for planning in the 2017 legislative session.
The total courthouse project cost is estimated at $230 million, of which the county will be responsible for approximately $135 million. The state is expected to provide its final funding in the 2021 legislative session for the remainder of the cost.
The state funding is contingent upon Clackamas County securing funds for the local share of the project. County officials are currently exploring various local funding options, which may include a voter-approved bond measure.
“The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners would like to thank the members of our state legislative delegation and legislative leadership for making this courthouse project funding happen,” stated Clackamas County Chair Jim Bernard. “This was our top priority this session. Clackamas County desperately needs a new courthouse that meets the needs of our growing population. It’s a win for our residents, businesses, and our infrastructure.”
For more on the courthouse project, visit https://www.clackamas.us/courthouse.
Contact: Dylan Blaylock