Curious as to what was on the application submitted by the town, Concerned Citizens FOILed a copy.
According to the August 28, 2008 Observer Dispatch article:
As the town’s regional popularity as a retail center has grown, so have the number of people who show up in traffic and criminal court, said William Virkler, who’s been a town justice for nine years. The confined space has led to a number of issues, including obsolete prisoner security, privacy issues with lawyers and their clients and long lines on court nights that stretch into the parking lot.Town residents are being asked to support the purchase of a building for $850,000 plus the additional costs for renovations and furniture (actually they may not be asked but rather told because we have heard that the town board with the help of Town Justice Virkler is looking for ways to make their dream of a new court hourse a reality by once again taking the vote away from the people). The $30,000 grant is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money that will be spent.
The part that really stands out when you look at the Summary Reports (last 3 pages of the application) is that according to the JCAP application, the majority of the court cases in the Town of New Hartford are Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) cases; i.e., traffic tickets! See for yourself...here is the JCAP application.
For more on the proposed court/town offices, see our June 23, 2008 and our August 31, 2008 blog.