41 A Distrct Court opened April 22, 2019
After a thorough examination of all possible solutions, Shelby Township officials and the 41 A District Court judges and administrators can be confident the new courthouse at 52420 Van Dyke Ave. is a better solution.
In a process that spanned most of the past 10 years, township and court officials sought the best and most efficient way to address the court’s building needs at its current location within the township’s community center at 51680 Van Dyke Ave.
“Shelby Township has always known what our needs are in terms of facilities, and everyone has been very supportive on the way to this facility,” 41 A Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said of the new courthouse. “We spent a lot of time to get to this, and we tried to do this in a fiscally solid manner. We budgeted for a building that will be safe and meet the needs of all the court users for decades, and it is a building we can be proud of.”
The new facility is a 20,000-square-foot building south of the existing Police Department. The project combined a parking lot in front of the Police Department with a lot to the south to accommodate parking for the court.
The township received 11 bids to build the new court building. Bernco Inc., based out of St. Clair Shores, submitted the lowest bid. Bernco Inc. recently completed the construction of a similar court building in St. Clair Shores and came highly recommended by the city. Bernco Inc.’s bid came in at $5,001,120, with a contingency of $250,000, for a total budget amount of $5,251,120
“This has been a long time coming,” Stathakis said. “I heard a rumor that, when the court moved into the community center in the 1980s, it was supposed to be a temporary home. Well, I guess we finally moved out of that interim, 30-year residence into a more permanent home.
“I’m proud that this Board of Trustees has worked hard way to make sure that we can do this by paying cash without bonding or borrowing. Yeah, it’s been a long time, but I want everyone to know, we did this the right way.”
The new court was constructed under budget for $5,156,830 and came at no cost to the township’s bottom line as Justice Building Fine revenues cover its construction.
“The court has been collecting a special fine for the building for several years, and this money can only be used for court building needs,” said John Kaczor of Municipal Analytics, which oversaw financial analysis for the court construction. “At the end of the current fiscal year, about $720,000 will be available from the Justice Building Fines reserves. Ongoing collections are forecasted to range from $140,000 to $160,000 per year.”
“Ultimately, the repayment term will depend on the actual cost of building and revenue from the Justice Building Fine revenues, but the ultimate cost paid with taxes for the new court building will be $0,” Kaczor said.