Opinion: Relocation of Delaware County Courts

Outside the Delaware County Justice Center. Photo by: Mike RhodesOutside the Delaware County Justice Center. Photo by: Mike Rhodes

By: Muncie Downtown Development Partnership—

Muncie, IN—The Muncie Downtown Development Partnership (MDDP) Board of Directors concurs with the attached resolution from the Muncie Bar Association.

The MDDP board members, while understanding the underlying goal of ensuring safety, feel moving the courts would be detrimental to the entire community.

The downtowns of cities with county seats have more retail businesses, more professional service businesses, and an overall greater mix of businesses than those that do not have a county seat.

Muncie Downtown Development Partnership realizes there is a need for a solution to jail challenges, but would endorse taking a step back and researching other options with the input and assistance of community leaders and partners.

The Delaware County Commissioners have put out an RFP to architects and engineers to review the layout of the former Wilson Middle School building to determine whether it could also include certain county offices and the courts as well as the jail.

This could include moving the five (5) Circuit Courts,  Delaware County Clerk’s office, the Prosecutor’s office, the Public Defender’s office and any other ancillary county office to outside of the downtown area.

Many businesses, banks, attorneys, restaurants, etc. have over the years maintained a presence downtown because of the proximity to the Courthouse and the county offices. Downtown could be at risk of losing some of those businesses, the offices of the courts as well as the traffic they draw.

The Muncie Bar Association will be presenting the attached resolution to the Delaware County Commissioners during their board meeting on June 4. The Muncie Bar Association and MDDP asks that those of you who support the resolution attend that meeting.  The meeting begins at 9am in the Delaware County Commissioners Board Room-309A

Please contact the MDDP Executive Director, Vicki Veach if you have questions.