County purchases final property on block for judicial center

Jackson County has entered a purchased agreement on the final property near the new soon-to-open judicial center.

Commissioners have agreed to pay Michael and Christine Kloppenburg $156,500 plus $11,500 in moving expenses for their property located on the corner of Sugar and Cross streets in Brownstown.

It’s the final property of several the county has purchased for the $12.14 million project.

The property included a chiropractic office operated by Michael Kloppenburg on the top floor and Kloppenburg Insurance and Real Estate in the basement, operated by Mary Londot.

The purchase price was determined by the average of two appraisals, which is required by state statute for government entities.

The building will be cleared and be part of the landscape of the center.

Commissioner Drew Markel said offers began a few years ago — even before he was elected in 2016 — and it took time because the county wanted to allow the two businesses to find a place to relocate.

“Those were two businesses that needed a place to go,” he said. “We let it happen when they were ready.”

The county’s three courts are set to begin moving Dec. 3 into the 38,000-square-foot judicial center. It will house all three of the county’s courts with room for another if it’s needed.

The prosecutor and clerk’s offices will be at the center, and it features major security upgrades, including a sallyport.

The center is on Sugar Street adjacent to the courthouse annex and just east of the courthouse.

Markel, who participated in the negotiations, said he was happy to see the final area be purchased.

“It adds some feeling of finalizing the project in getting the whole block obtained,” he said. “The block is solely for the judicial center and county government now.”

The area is uphill from the center and may provide additional parking spaces once it’s determined drainage won’t be an issue. The center’s parking lot already includes 54 spaces.