Austin Legal Community Supporting New Travis County Civil & Family Courthouse
Dear Travis County Commissioners:
The undersigned citizens of Travis County are deeply concerned about the overcrowding and unsuitability of the current Travis County Civil and Family Courthouse. We believe the 82-year courthouse ceased, several decades ago, to keep pace with the enormous growth of our county, with modern technology, with optimum conditions for the disabled, and with the escalation in litigation practice over that period. We do not believe that the existing courthouse presents a safe or suitable environment for the thousands of children, nor for the hundreds of thousands of citizens, who appear at the courthouse each year, and that the overcrowded condition prevents the courthouse personnel from providing the cost efficiencies and levels of service that we see in comparable cities and counties around the state and nation. These conditions are already grave and continue to worsen each year.
We applaud the responsible steps that the Commissioners have taken to rectify those problems, including approval for the county's purchase of the downtown tract to build a new courthouse and the commissioning of planning studies. We ask the Commissioners to expedite the process of beginning construction of a new civil and family courthouse by 2013, with 500,000 sq. ft. of courthouse space to accommodate anticipated county growth through 2035, and to begin courthouse construction even if the building of any additional square footage for any commercial uses on the same tract is deferred to a later date.
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