Benton County files eminent domain proceedings for new courthouse location
Benton County says it’s moving forward with eminent domain proceedings in order to acquire land for its new courthouse.
The county says it offered $5.477 million for the 29.53-acre parcel of land just north of downtown Corvallis. The property’s current owners turned that down, so the county has filed for an eminent domain action in court.
“Eminent domain is an extremely rare path for Benton County to choose and we don’t take it lightly,” County Counsel Vance Croney said in a press release. “The County has negotiated in good faith, over a long period of time, with the property owner, but has been unsuccessful in reaching agreement, leaving it with no choice but to pursue acquisition through the court system.”
The press release also said that the county would not be making any additional comments until the eminent domain court case is concluded.
The county wants the land for its proposed “Community Safety and Justice Campus.”
It will include a new courthouse, jail, and emergency operations center. The full extent of the project will depend on whether voters approve a bond measure scheduled for next May. The county has provided few details about the cost or scope of the bond.
The current 130-year-old courthouse in downtown Corvallis needs significant safety and accessibility upgrades, according to county officials. The county has established a committee to develop proposals for the building's future once it's no longer in use as a courthouse.