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Albemarle Co. May Move Court Due to Money, Not Parking

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File Image: Albemarle General District Court File Image: Albemarle General District Court
File Image: Charlottesville General District Court File Image: Charlottesville General District Court
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Money, not parking, may be the driving force behind Albemarle County's idea to move its court system out of downtown Charlottesville.

The city and county have been considering moving their respective general district courts into one, shared building.

However, the county is also thinking about moving Albemarle General District Court completely out of the city. Issues over downtown parking have been cited as a reason for this move, but the county's Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is cash-strapped: Albemarle County has so far only set aside $2.3 million for the $47 million co-location plan.

A county spokesperson says the CIP budget that funds these types of facilities has been very constrained since the recession, which is why the county is exploring its options.

Some city leaders say diverting from the co-location plan is a bad idea.

"I know the situation the county is in with the CIP and all that, and I'm hoping they can find a way to work their way through it. The city is always looking for a way to cooperate and collaborate with the county, and in the delivery of legal services that's more important than I think almost anything else we do," said Charlottesville City Councilor Bob Fenwick.

Abandoning the co-location plan would mean the city would have to foot the entire bill to move Charlottesville General District Court into a new spot.

An economic impact analysis review is being done by Albemarle County. That review will weigh the pros and cons of a potential move.

Albemarle County and Charlottesville are still in the middle of negotiating any terms of a deal. City Council met behind closed doors earlier this week to get an update.

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