Never Forget That

Only our judicial overlords do.

Bibb County’s five Superior Court judges filed a judicial order this week that compels the board of commissioners to build a new courthouse.

The price tag for a solution to the cramped and oftentimes insufficient courthouse at 601 Mulberry St. could be as much as $75 million, officials learned earlier this summer.

The Facility Group, the Atlanta-based general contractor that recently completed construction on the county’s new jail addition, presented commissioners with a report detailing how the 83-year-old structure they occupy in downtown Macon is operating at its maximum capacity, with working conditions that are


  1. It’s not like we get to vote them out of office if they screw up. They don’t have anything to lose by doing whatever they want.

    I wouldn’t mind a house. That would make up for the house I lost because a Macon court judge decided he wouldn’t allow me to clean up RAFB, so he helped the defendants. Yeah, can someone get a judge to order up a new house for me too?

  2. AubieTurtle says:

    Has anyone read the court order? I’d like to know what their basis for this is. I can think of a couple of situations where it can be justified.

    1) a law making body that has jurisdiction over the area passed a law requiring the new courthouse to be built and it hasn’t been. This happens sometimes, especially in states with ballot initiatives.
    2) there is a law that states that it is the responsibility of county to provide a courthouse that serves the needs of the community. An overcrowded courthouse, it could be argued, does not fully serve the needs of the community

    I haven’t read the order, so I have no idea if either of the above were the basis for the order or it is just a bunch of judges wanting to have more room to stretch their legs.

  3. I wonder if the Facility Group, a general contractor, gets any of that $75 million, or if they were just hired to assess the court.

    I don’t know of any company that would complete a project for a jail and then just decide, “hey boys, while we’re at it, we’ll just throw in a report on your court while we’re here.”

  4. The courthouse is a mess and it does have major structural problems. The place leaks and floods, halls zig zag, and the bathrooms are a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    There are some great empty schools that could be used……. nah

    While the Board of Commissioners have spent literal millions on projects unrelated to county government, now they’re forced to do something creative… Watch for another property tax increase in ’08 or wait until ’09 for the revaluation to hit and listen to them talk about a “windfall”, making up 10 years of value. And, of course, renewal of the SPLOST.


  5. ee, be nice to our judges, we’d just be a bunch of hicks at a high speed, drive by buffet without them.

    late night s.e.c. cipherin, so spell & fact check this stuff.

    Macon Mall sold for $133.5 million in July 05.

    If our shortsighted developers continue their urban sprawl, hop-skip-jump-cannibalism- retailism

    and the anchor stores white flight out to the New Mall to the North

    and the stock market continues to crash;

    you reckon we’d be able to get the 1.4 million square foot Macon Mall for $75 million or less?

    How much could we get by selling the existing historic Court House as a wifi flop house for bloggers, vegetarians and swedish chefs?

    Dang, those Birmingham Colonial Properties guys sure know when to sell and they buy when there is blood in the streets.

  6. midgajim says:

    This is exactly how we got a new courthouse in Houston Co. and the commissioners were able to get around the tax cap: a judge issued an order, then they said they were “compelled by law” to build a new one.

  7. The Comma Guy says:

    You know that you DO get to vote on your judges, every four years. The problem is rarely, if ever, do you get opposition.

    The Bibb County courthouse has been a sewer, literally, for over 15 years. When I worked in there, the bathrooms in the bottom floors vented back into the courthouse and smoking was permitted. I understand that much has been done to clean the place up, but when I appear in court there now, there is still a lingering smell and many dangerous steps.

    Yes, it is a chicken move to have the judges order the commissioners do build them a new judicial palace. Bibb County folks should try to get the commissioners to form a citizen panel or provide some type of insight in to the location as well as what is going to happen to the old building.

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