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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


King County’s sale of Aukeen Courthouse to Kent will save city more than $1 million

Summary

Taxpayers will save more than $1 million as a result of the sale of the County-owned Aukeen Courthouse to the City of Kent, a deal brokered by King County Executive Dow Constantine and approved unanimously today by the Metropolitan King County Council.

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Taxpayers will save more than $1 million as a result of the sale of the County-owned Aukeen Courthouse to the City of Kent, a deal brokered by King County Executive Dow Constantine and approved unanimously today by the Metropolitan King County Council.

"By working as a partner with the city, we found a common-sense solution that saves taxpayer dollars," said Executive Constantine. "Kent can continue to operate at one consolidated municipal justice campus without the need for an expensive expansion project, and King County can make more efficient use of the Maleng Regional Justice Center by consolidating court proceedings and improving service to the public at that location."

"This sale is a win-win," said Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke. "It will allow the city to meet the growing needs of the court and save taxpayers future remodeling costs."

Currently, King County owns the Aukeen District Courthouse and leases space to the City of Kent for its municipal court - but in order for both jurisdictions to continue operations at the site, the city had planned to expand the building at a cost estimated at $7 million. By moving King County District Court's South Division operations out of the Aukeen building and into the nearby Maleng Regional Justice Center (MRJC) and selling the facility to the city, the city can expand without the additional cost of remodeling.

"The legislation approved today mutually benefits King County, the City of Kent and most importantly, the taxpayers," said Councilmember Julia Patterson. "With this agreement, we now have a way to implement our long-term goal to consolidate and expand District Court operations in South King County."

Under terms of the agreement, the city will pay the county $5.6 million to purchase the facility, and avoid the need to spend the estimated $7 million cost of remodeling. The County will use proceeds from the sale to offset the cost of relocating the district court, as well as pay for some minor improvements at the MRJC to accommodate the court.

"King County District Court is thrilled to be moving ahead with this important and long-awaited facilities project," said Chief Presiding Judge Barbara Linde. "During the many years that we have shared the Aukeen Courthouse with the City of Kent, we have enjoyed a strong and collaborative relationship. Consolidating District Court operations into the Maleng Regional Justice Center, and selling the Aukeen building to Kent, is the realization of a dream for both the court and the city. This project will benefit both the City of Kent and King County, and will enable the District Court to become an even more efficient organization and allow us to provide better access to the people we serve."

The Executive praised the King County Sheriff for working closely with his Facilities Management Division team to come up with a creative and efficient relocation plan for the Sheriff's Criminal Investigation Division, making room for District Court in the Maleng Regional Justice Center. He thanked other tenants, such as the King County Prosecutor and King County Superior Court, for working collaboratively to make the plan a reality.

Facilities managers expect to move South Division District Court operations to the Maleng Regional Justice Center by spring 2013.



King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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