MODESTO - The state's chronic budget crises may be claiming more victims. Construction on the new Stanislaus County Courthouse has been delayed yet again because there isn't money in the General Fund for a courthouse in Long Beach.
"This wasn't the news we wanted to hear," said Michael Tozzi, Stanislaus County courts' administrator.
Tozzi said he received an email this morning from the state's court facilities group which said the George Deukmejian Courthouse under construction in Long Beach may have lost its General Fund money and the project may now have to be paid from the state’s courthouse construction fund, which was set up under Senate Bill 1407. That fund was going to pay for projects in Modesto as well as Los Banos and Sonora.
The state’s Court Facilities Working Group will meet Dec. 13 in San Francisco to decide if it will have to spend $600 million out of the SB1407 fund for the Long Beach project and which of the other projects will be allowed to proceed.
Tozzi said he will attend that meeting and make his case for the new Stanislaus County Courthouse.
"We're living in a courthouse now that's inadequate in so many ways," Tozzi said, calling the current building at 800 11th St. in downtown Modesto and safety and security hazard.
Court officials were close to announcing the location of the new courthouse. One option was property bordered by Ninth and 10th streets and G and H streets. The other was property bordered by 13th and 14th streets and H and I streets.
The land purchase was expected to be between $8 million and $11 million, which would be in addition to the $278.3 million budget for the new courthouse. All the money was to have come from the SB1407 fund.