By Geena Martinez
MIDLAND - A new municipal court in Midland is estimated to cost nearly $15 million. On Tuesday, city council members voted to move some money around to get the project started.
The City of Midland is growing and so is the workload over at the municipal court building.
"We handle a lot of different cases that weren't contemplated 30 years ago so a lot of the way the court functions is different now," Municipal Court Judge, Robin Smith, said.
At 30 years old, city officials said the building is no longer meeting their needs.
"We don't have the capacity to handle what we need to at municipal court," Mayor Pro-tem, John Love, said.
However, a solution is in the works.
City council members approved moving funds so a new building can be constructed.
The total cost is $14, 951,000. The original number went up because of of unforeseen expenses.
"The phone system was antiquated so we had to update that," Love said.
It might seem pricey but we're told the project is necessary. Not only is the current building outdated but it's also out of room. Cubicles are close together and the workload is running out of storage space. There are boxes full of files that have to be stored in the hallway because there's nowhere else to put them.
The new building will be bigger and it's designed to better handle the foot traffic that comes through their doors.
"It'll allow us to get them in and out quicker and treat them with a little more dignity and they won't have to talk about their finances in front of anybody else," Smith said.
There's no set completion date but officials said they're looking forward to better serving the community.