© 2023 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Benton County files eminent domain proceedings for new courthouse location

An artist's rendering of the proposed Benton County Justice campus.
Benton County
An artist's rendering of the proposed Benton County Justice campus.

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.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018 and became News Director in March, 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
Related Content