A chunk of the misdemeanor and civil court offices may be moving next door under a $2 million plan being considered Tuesday by county commissioners.

Circuit Court Judge Carol Falvey, the chief administrative judge for the county, is scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. during Tuesday’s county commission meeting.

The plan is to move some court services from the courthouse to the old Coca-Cola building next door, which had housed the supervisor of elections before its move to Meadowcrest.

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County commission Chairman Scott Carnahan met with judges to work on a plan to meet space needs brought by the addition of two new judges to the county.

“We’ve got to find them space,” Carnahan told the Chronicle Editorial Board. “They want to turn the Coke building into two courtrooms.”

Judges believe the renovation to the Coke building will serve them for 10 years, County Administrator Randy Oliver wrote in an agenda memo.

Oliver said the project will take up to two years and qualifies for funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA. However, he said, should the board decide to use those funds for the courts project, it would reduce funding for other projects now on the ARPA list.

If commissioners approve the plan, the vote will contradict a decision commissioners made in 2017 over space.

At that time, the board agreed to move some clerk of court services to an annex at the former county health department building in Inverness, move the supervisor of elections to the West Citrus Center at Meadowcrest, and move county commission administrative offices to the former Coke building to provide more court space in the courthouse. The first two occurred; the county never followed through with the commission move.

Contact Chronicle reporter Mike Wright at 352-563-3228 or mwright@chronicleonline.com. To view more of his stories, go to www.tinyurl.com/y3bakm6w.

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