Courts Ask for More Office Space

Bay County commissioners met Thursday morning for the second part of their annual budget workshop.

Court officials presented their budget to county commissioners, stressing the immediate need for office space.

Judge Glenn Hess and Court Administrator Jennifer Wells told commissioners they're out of administrative and courtroom space. Employees are being forced to set up shop in the hallways, and parking is at a bare minimum.

Wells says 85 percent of the circuit’s caseload is heard in Bay County, and she expects that to increase with the population as it grows by leaps and bounds.

Court officials are working with Bay County staff to explore the option of moving some departments over to the old Boot Camp building on East 11th Street. The delay is caused by waiting for word from the state, because even though the property belongs to the county, the building belongs to the state.

Wells says relocating to the boot camp building would be a temporary solution.

The county will consider turning over some of the existing county office space to the court system once they relocate to their new office complex on West 11th Street. The earliest that move is expected is fall of 2008.