Central Court handles preliminary hearings in all criminal cases charged as misdemeanors and felonies, regardless of where the cases initiate within the county.
Preliminary hearings in criminal cases filed by state police will be heard.
Magistrates will rotate their service at central court. When assigned to night court, they also will work out of the Uniontown magisterial office 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Wednesday, at present.
No new employees were hired, but two “floating” staff members are now stationed at central court full time.
District Court 14-0-00, also known as Central Court, officially relocated to 148 E. Main St. in Uniontown, following the expiration of its first lease.
Commissioners Angela Zimmerlink, Dave Lohr and Vincent A. Vicites unanimously approved entering into a lease agreement with The Agostini Group for 10 years, with rent for the first five years set at $2,000 per month. Years six through 10, rent will increase to $2,200 per month.
Commissioners also agreed to an amortized cost for improvements at $75,000 for necessary renovations. If the lease remains unbroken for 10 years amortized, costs can be dissolved.
Assistant Solicitor Sheryl Heid confirmed the lease agreement submitted as of the Aug. 11, 2016 meeting was slightly modified over the past week.
“The financial responsibility of the county has changed. The Agostini Group was willing to work on things that were not favorable to the county as a tenant,” Heid said.
“With the new Central Court, we’re looking at approximately 3,000 sq. feet. The cost per square foot is, in my opinion, very reasonable,” Vicites said. “What I like about the location is that it’s a gateway to downtown Uniontown. It will help to completely revamp the image of downtown.”
Zimmerlink said the location was previously considered for use by prison ancillaries, but rejected because of its location within the city’s flood plain.
A Central Court representative said recent flooding affected a parking lot behind the new location, but failed to reach the building itself.
Central Court must officially be relocated to the building by Dec. 31, 2016, with the lease becoming effective and first payment due Jan. 15, 2017.
|Senior Judge Conrad B. Capuzzi
Senior Judge Gerald R. Solomon