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Pike to purchase a new building; new quarters needed for expanding court system

June 5, 2012

Pike County needs to expand its old courthouse with an addition. Meanwhile, during construction, it will need an additional place to house judicial offices.

At the May 16 commissioners’ meeting, the county moved to offer a down payment on a building at Broad and East John streets that has been empty since the Malhame Vestment Company, a church vestments company, sold its business. The board approved a down payment of $65,750 for the 8,300-square-foot building. The facility is within walking distance of the county administration building.

The original owners were asking about $775,000, but the county offered $500,000. Finally, they signed a purchase agreement for $657,000.

The building will be used for Judge Gregory Chelak’s court and offices, and also for relocating President Judge Joseph Kameen’s judicial offices, which are currently situated adjacent to the courthouse.

The commissioners issued a $12 million bond to pay for the expansion of the courthouse.

The courthouse, built in 1874, is supposed to adequately provide safe and efficient judicial services to the growing county population. Beginning in 2008, the county created the position of a second sitting judge due to the rising number of cases that require litigation.

“This is a joint venture between the county and the courts,” said Rich Caridi, chairman of the commissioners.

In addition, since the Rite Aid in Milford is expanding and adding a through-lane, the county mediation center will need to relocate before August 1 because it is located in the building adjacent to where the drug store chain is planning to expand.

In other meeting news, the county will be holding free electronic recycling on July 21 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Blooming Grove Township municipal building on Route 739 and at Dutch’s Market in Greentown during the same hours.