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Johnson County commissioners move forward with new courthouse and coroner facility

Today, the Johnson County commissioners agreed to move forward on a new courthouse and coroner facility. The proposed funding is a 10-year 1/4 cent public safety sales tax. In May, county staff will bring back to the Board of County Commissioners language that, if approved by a vote, will be placed on the ballot for the November 2016 general election.

For the past several months, the BOCC has studied plans for a new 28-courtroom structure located across the street from the current location on Santa Fe and Cherry Street in downtown Olathe, and a new coroner facility near the county’s Criminalistics Laboratory at 119th and Ridgeview in Olathe.

In March and April, the county held six open house meetings where residents could view photos and video explaining concerns with the current courthouse, hear a presentation from the consultant team about what a new courthouse would look like, learn about the financing options that would fund a new courthouse, and ask questions of county staff and local officials including Chief Judge Kevin Moriarty and District Attorney Steve Howe.

Meeting participants could give their feedback by taking a survey.

  • 93.1 percent said Johnson County needs a new courthouse
  • 88.5 percent said Johnson County needs its own coroner facility
  • When asked if they preferred a 1/4 cent sales tax for 10 years, a 1/8 cent sales tax plus a mill levy increase for 10 years or a mill levy increase for 20 years, the majority selected the 1/4 cent sales tax.

More information on the new courthouse and coroner facility is available at www.jocogov.org/courthouse.