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Justice center among requests for stimulus

It appears, at least for the time being, that Elbridge Town Supervisor Ken Bush's $2.5 million request for stimulus money is still being considered.

Bush said he applied about a month ago for the funds through the New York State Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Cabinet Web site, which was set up to allow municipalities, organizations and private citizens to request money from the state's share of the federal stimulus.

The $2.5 million would go towards construction of a shared court building and new state police headquarters that would provide court space for the towns of Camillus, Elbridge, Marcellus and Skaneateles, Bush said.

The concept

Still very much in the conceptual stage, the idea was not presented formally to the other town boards but was presented conversationally to the town supervisors, Bush said.

"They think is has merit but funding the facility is the problem," he said.

He said he submitted his request in response to a push from the state to upgrade local court systems.

"Basically, some [Elbridge] board members' feelings is, if the state wants it so bad, they need to step forward and help," Bush said.

While the town has been dealing with space and renovation needs on its own, this was a good opportunity to address the same problems in neighboring towns while exploring a funding source other than the taxpayers.

"I thought a four-town cooperation ought to catch somebody's attention," Bush said.

Bush emphasized that the court building would be a shared space, not a consolidation of the four court systems.

The idea is to provide sufficient space to hold court -- something three of the four towns do not currently have -- along with separate office space for each town's justices.

In addition, the building would include an adjoining state police headquarters to house Troop D. The towns of Elbridge, Marcellus and Skaneateles are patrolled by the state police and Onondaga County Sheriff's.

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