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City of Chardon, Ohio – Municipal Government
Chardon Makes Case for Keeping Geauga County on the Square
CHARDON, Ohio, March 26, 2019 – Chardon officials today released a feasible alternative for locating new Geauga County facilities on Chardon Square that addresses County Commissioners requirements for office, parking and security while continuing to support the economic vitality of the Square.
“We invested nearly $20,000 to engage architectural design firms Richard L. Bowen & Associates and LDA Architects to conduct a feasibility study of whether the County’s needs could be cost-effectively met renovating and/or building new facilities on the Square,” said Chardon Mayor Jeff Smock. “We have an option now for the County’s consideration that we believe shows the Square can be a viable option.”
An overflow crowd attended a special meeting of Chardon City Council on March 26 to hear a presentation from representatives of both Bowen and LDA. The architects considered three options with varying configurations that include renovating and expanding the iconic Courthouse, as well as constructing a new building and expanded parking at the Chase Bank site. They believe that the Courthouse work can be done as part of a broader effort to address the County’s office, parking and security needs in a cost-effective way.
“We’re open to considering other sites on the Square and all ideas involving continued use of the Courthouse as it was always intended,” Smock said. “As this is a hundred-year decision, I am confident that Council will support a meaningful financial commitment to the project, which could include the purchase and demolition of the Chase Bank site, with monies already set aside in the City’s reserve fund.”
Smock said Council and other City leaders view this as an important investment in Chardon’s future. The County’s maintaining a strong presence on the Square supports redevelopment of other Main Street properties that the County plans on leaving and provides a better environment for long-term planning and economic development. The County’s continued presence also helps ensure that the Square remains vibrant and thriving, with law offices, title agencies and more supporting the court system.
“We have already met with Commissioner Tim Lennon, County Prosecutor Jim Flaiz and County Administrator Gerry Morgan to present the work of the architectural design firms,” Smock said. “We have agreed to schedule additional meetings and work together in identifying a solution that addresses the County’s needs while continuing to support the economic vitality of the Square.“
For more information on the architect studies, please see the attached Power Point Presentation or contact the Chardon City Manager’s office at 440-286-2600.