Logan Fiscal Court Approves Purchase for New Judicial Center

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

The current Logan County courthouse was built in 1904 and is outdated by many standards. On Sept. 26, 2006, property owners discussed why they felt the site between 4th and 5th Streets is the right one for a new justice center.

"Without a doubt there's a need for a new justice center," Dickie Carter said.

But Judge Sue Carol Browning says agreeing to sell her property was one of the biggest mistakes of her life.

"Of course I'm disappointed about losing my property. I hate to say I love a piece of property, but I bought that 20 years ago because I wanted a place to practice law and I didn't want to ever have to give it up," Browning said.

Browning's property is one of nine that will be torn down for the building of a new judicial building.

"All of the property owners were negotiated with throughout the whole process so everyone negotiated their price based on the property evaluations that were done by the project development board for the fiscal court," said Garland Vanhook with the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Magistrate Dickie Carter is the only one who voted against the agreement. He says that's because the fiscal court gave Sue Carol Browning at least $30,000 more than her property was appraised for.

"We just had to come up to her price and I didn't agree with doing that," Carter said.

"I do feel that it's fair. It's not what I had wanted for my property, but I do feel that it's a fair resolution," Browning said.

Aside from Browning, all the other property owners say they believe progress comes with a price and say they are glad they can help better Logan County, even if it means not getting as much as they would like for their property.

Magistrate Jo Orange did not vote because she and her husband are property owners at the site of the new judicial building. The property owners will have 90 days from the day of closing to move out of the buildings on 4th and 5th Streets. After that, the buildings will be demolished and plans for the new justice center will move forward.

Browning will donate $5,000 of her money to local charities as part of an agreement with the fiscal court.


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