Renovations are expected to begin on the Madison County Courthouse Building in the next couple of months after a memorandum of understanding was approved between the Madison County Fiscal Court and the Administrative Office of the Courts.

“This has been a long time coming,” Judge Reagan Taylor said Tuesday morning.

In a former press release sent out from the county after the meeting, Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor notes the purchase of the former bank will “assist in the transition of agencies out of the courthouse prior to the start of the $10 million courthouse renovation that was approved by the General Assembly and Administrative Office of the Courts.”

During Taylor’s State of the County Address in 2019, he announced the courthouse's renovations as a “critical need” in order to make the courthouse safer for officials and community members.

The county has the fourth highest circuit court indictment docket in the state.

"This facility that tries the worst of the worst criminals from murderers to rapists and does not even have the basic requirements met for safety," he said at the former event.

The press release noted the courthouse was built in 1850 with the last addition completed more than 55 years ago and said renovations would address deficiencies “including Americans with Disabilities (ADA) accessibility compliance, security for the judicial branch staff and judges, expansion of the number of courtrooms, and overhaul of the antiquated heating, air and electric systems.”

However, because of COVID-19, the renovation was put on hold until the MOU was approved Tuesday, which allows the AOC to fund the construction of the courthouse.

During the time of the renovations, the county officials plan to temporarily house the courts and conduct business in the Chase Bank building, which was purchased in 2019 after an executive session during court.

The Madison County Fiscal Court unanimously approved the purchase for the former Chase Bank building in downtown Richmond at 116 West Main Street with a purchase price not to exceed $750,000.

The renovation project, according to Judge Taylor, will be close to $12 million in renovations and will be paid for by the AOC.

“We are so thankful that this bill passed, and this will be exciting and refreshing,” Taylor said.

Deputy Judge Colleen Chaney thanked Judge Taylor, the courts and Senator Jared Carpenter, for their work to make sure the bill which established funds from the AOC, would proceed.

Other business:

• Jessie Lindsey was approved for hire at the Madison County Animal Shelter.

• Steven Brock was approved for appointment to the road department.

• The fiscal court approved their administrative code, code of ethics, drug and alcohol-free workplace, and the detention center policy and procedure.

• The court voted to approve an airport board memorandum of understanding which allows Eastern Kentucky University to be a constituent party to the Madison County Airport Board and nominate and appoint two members for the board.

• A zone change for 1449 and 1479 Barnes Mill road was approved from UC7 (agricultural) to UC1 (single-family residential). Magistrate John Tudor abstained from the vote.

• An additional road change was approved at 2300 Battlefield Memorial Highway from R7 to RC4.

• A memorandum of agreement was established and approved between the Madison County EMA and the Madison County Health Department.

• Larry Todd was approved for reappointment to the Southern Madison Water Board. Magistrate Paul Reynolds voted against the member.

• Valerie Himes was reappointed to the Madison County Board of Adjustments.

• Approval was given to the Judge Executive to apply for a RAISE Grant application for funds that will hopefully build a road from US-52 to the Madison County Regional Airport.

• Mike Maverty was re-approved for appointment on the Madison County Board of Adjustments.

The next Madison County Fiscal Court meeting is scheduled June 22 at 9:30 a.m.

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