Renovations coming soon: Commissioners want to update Allen County Courthouse

ALLEN COUNTY — Allen County commissioners are preparing the way for future generations. On Monday afternoon, Commissioners Cory Noonan and Brian Winegardner gave a state of the county speech discussing plans to use the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) dollars toward a new project and county finances to the Rotary Club of Lima.

The commissioners said they hope to use a portion of the funds to work on the Allen County Courthouse. The goal of the project is to update the courthouse and bring the county courtrooms back into the courthouse.

In order to complete the project, the county offices must vacate the building for renovations to begin. Before the offices can move, the commissioners plan to build or move into a new administrative building to house the county offices in one place as well.

“The courthouse is in need of some deep repair to make it functional again to 2023 standards,” said Winegardner. “So the first thing we need to do is find a place to put everyone so we can do that. The talk is maybe building a new administration building and moving everyone out so we can address the problems at the courthouse.”

Winegardner added that the commissioners have discussed design plans with their architect. He also said construction could potentially begin in 2023. The site of the new project is yet to be determined.

According to Winegardner, some county offices are required to remain within the city limits.

Noonan shared one potential location for the new building.

“We do have a parcel (Commerce Parkway) on the south side of town that is now becoming the focus,” said Noonan. “One of the questions was about parking. Having grounds to be able to spread your arms out is going to be important for a structure and a move that will be for generations down the line. To have ground on the south side of town is important. It won’t cost us anything to obtain the property. It has the amenities we need and the acreage to go along with the site and parking.”

Noonan also said the county is doing well financially.

“Where we are at walking into 2023,” said Noonan, “Financially, with the budget that was passed at the beginning of January, we are stable. We have a balanced budget. We spend a year going through that to ensure we are where we need to be. Anytime the economy can go one way or the other you have to be prepared for that. Hopefully, the economic numbers stay where they are at. We will get through it unscathed. We have a great board of commissioners. We work hand in hand with the budget commission. We are just excited.”

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.