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Township board OKs small claims court move

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The Center Township Board on Wednesday approved a plan to move the township’s small claims court from the downtown Indianapolis City-County Building to the Julia M. Carson Government Center despite a judge's objection.

Board members approved the move by a vote of 5-1, with one abstention. Moving the court does not need approval from the City-County Council.

The move could be completed by the end of the year and before the county increases the court’s rent 5 percent. The court currently pays $16,701 annually to lease its space.

IBJ on Monday reported Trustee Eugene Akers’ plan to move the court against Judge Michelle Smith Scott’s wishes. The judge cited security reasons among her objections to the move.

The court is the city’s oldest of nine township small claims courts and is the only one located in the City-County Building, where it’s been housed since the 28-story building opened in 1962.

The proposal calls for the court to take the 2,200-square-foot space vacated by 300 East, a restaurant and bar at the Carson Center that closed Sept. 1. The small claims court now occupies 1,600 square feet in the basement of the City-County Building.

Akers said the township could save money if the court moves rent-free to the township-owned Carson Center on Fall Creek Parkway. Akers estimated the cost to move the court and renovate and furnish the space at $459,000.

Akers is bracing for a 15-percent budget cut of $1.3 million next year, due to a continued loss of funds from property taxes, which make up local government’s largest source of revenue.

 

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  • Disappointed
    I am disappointed that this court is moving to a area that is difficult to get to and not as secure as City County. This is EXPENSIVE compared to paying less than $20K per year for rent. This is fuzzy math ,just my opinion
  • Public Transportation???
    If the court is moved, it will mean an additional hour or two if one takes public transportation, since most of the connections are downtown! Moving the court is a very bad idea!!
  • Ditto
    I like the questions from Unhappy tax payer. I would also like to know..... who is going to pay for security now? As part of their extremely cheap $16k per year, the court received free security at the main entrances. Will they now have to hire off-duty IMPD officers to police the doors, maybe private security to run the metal detectors? Who pays for that? Hmmmmm, 3 security officers, $20 - $40k per year, per officer.... I think Akers lost their calculator. I would like to know what market rent is there as well. They already screwed up by becoming a landlord, they might as well make it profitable rather than giving away their prime space. But why would the short sighted gov want to do that. Way to get ready for that budget crunch by spending 5% of your reserves adding to your monthly costs, and giving away a space that could have offset your rent at the City County AND made money at the same time.
  • Waste of money, government doesn't waste money, don't look over here
    Questions to the Center Township Trustee in regards to relocation of the Center Township Small Claims Court.

    1. Are utilities included in the current rent in the City County Building, Julia Carson Center?
    2. Are all taxes included in the current rent in the City County Building, Julia Carson Center?
    3. How often has the rent been increased at the City County Building?
    4. What has the average increase in rent been associated with increases at the City County Building?
    5. Is there going to be a long term lease signed that reflects new space to be rent free, tax free and cap on utilities to be billed that space if other tenants vacate?
    6. Who is responsible for building upkeep at the Julia Carson Center, how can the Center be kept open when leasing one of the best locations for no rent?
    7. Who has bid the renovation? If not bid, how did you figure the cost?
    8. Who has bid the move? If not bid, how did you figure the cost?
    9. Why would new furnishing have to be purchased?
    10. Has the cost of security upgrades been calculated in the “move” cost?

    How can a Trustee that is to be providing for the poor have $8.5 million dollars in reserve?

    And I am in full agreement with Center Resident that it is absurb that an elected official does not have an email address listed for communication.

    Can a Trustee be recalled?
  • Abuse of power
    This does not make any sense. As a resident of Center Township I would like to voice my disapproval of this move. However, the trustee’s website does not list any contact information for the trustee. I am sure this is an abuse power and one Mr. Akers’ friends will be benefiting from the move. The Trustee should not be in the business of playing landlord in the first place! Even more reason township trustees should be eliminated.
  • Moving the Court
    This may be about not having a big vacant space at the Julia Carson Building.
  • rate of return
    So they will use 26 years of rental payments (current payment plus 5%) to do the build out? Is it really worth it? Who gets the remodel contract?

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