Commissioners make final site selection decision for proposed Justice System Improvement Program facilities

A set of justice scales over the words: Justice System Improvement Program for Benton County.
Friday, January 21, 2022

The Benton County Board of Commissioners met this morning for discussion and to reach a decision between two proposed sites for Justice System Improvement Program (JSIP) facilities. The meeting was well attended by the public, who were invited to comment in advance of a decision.

The two sites under consideration for JSIP facilities included a site in west Corvallis on Reservoir Road, and a site in north Corvallis next to the Hewlett-Packard campus. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the north site and directed staff to continue pursuing the property.

The Board had previously delayed a final site selection decision twice, to provide additional time for public engagement and provide County staff further opportunity to explore site options and conduct their due diligence. Preliminary discussions to review site selection options occurred on January 18, as part of the commissioners’ regular Board meeting, and at a virtual public meeting on January 20, in addition to the numerous community outreach events that began last summer and extended into fall and winter.

“We appreciate all the time and effort that has gone into this project by our elected officials, staff, and consultants, and we want to thank each of our community members for their contributions to this important process that helped shape our final decision”, said Board Chair Nancy Wyse. “The Board unanimously agrees that the best site for the new justice system campus is one that has the least negative impact on our community. Based on all of the information we have reviewed to date we believe the north site is the best option.”

Today’s final site selection decision will also allow the new courthouse project to proceed according to the State’s matching funds schedule. In early December, the Board agreed to move forward with construction for a new courthouse – one of four new facilities considered for the JSIP. The County will use a combination of general fund reserves and loans, plus $20 million in matching funds from the State, to advance the project and move into engineering and design by mid-2022.