MARSHALL COUNTY — It was first presented to the County Commissioners earlier this month, but this last Monday it was the Council’s time to hear the presentation to implement a fourth court in the Marshall County Court System.
Once again, Judge Dean Colvin was on hand to deliver the presentation.
Council Member Jon Van Vactor asked the judge if the soonest it could be implemented was July 2020.
He asked this in terms of if the council should budget for the additional costs of running a fourth court.
“I can tell you two things,” Judge Colvin started. T
he first was the fact that Senator Randy Head was the chairman for the Committee on Courts and Codes.
Senator Head had resigned from his position to take the chief deputy prosecutor position in Pulaski County.
Due to this, Colvin stated that there are “a number of small political things that play into various courts asking for additional court personnel.”
Once the new chairman is appointed, then the judge can schedule a meeting with the committee.
As far as the budgeting, Judge Colvin suggested that the Council set aside funds in expectation of this.
“Now you can make preparations to say, ‘well look, we need to carve these funds out in the event that the court was approved,’” said the Judge.
He then addressed another issue.
The year 2020 is not a budget year for the State of Indiana, but 2021 is a budget year.
The judge theorized that the State Legislature could approve the court, but delay the implementation of the court until 2021.
“It’s important to us to get into the queue now and get the approval, then let them sort out their finances,” Judge Colvin said.
When asked about the funding for the proposed fourth court, Colvin agreed that it could be roughly the same as the budget for Superior Court #1, which is $300,000 in expenses.
However, Judge Colvin didn’t believe that fees for defenders should be included in this estimate.
An additional cost the Judge identified was the recording equipment upgrade.
After a series of questions from the council, a motion was made that approved a resolution of the council’s support for the implementation of a fourth court.
The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.