City reaches deal with county on former court building

Sale for $49,000 includes restrictions

As the Rockford Historical Society rapidly reaches the point where it may begin moving artifacts and inventory into the former 63rd District Court Building, the fate of the portion retained by Kent County is in question. Office space on the north end of the building was retained after Kent County relocated the judicial presence in the building to the new court house on Knapp Street. The space was used as a partial court presence to serve northern communities after the judicial relocation but was eventually abandoned from that use due to lack of activity there.

At the Monday, February 11 Rockford City Council meeting, council was asked to approve a purchase agreement between the City of Rockford and Kent County for that portion of the building. Restrictions, such as never naming the building and only using it for a purpose that is non-profit and for a use beneficial to the residents of the county, were part of the agreement. The sale price was $49,000.

According to a report from City Manager Michael Young, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce has been contacted to see if there is an interest in moving the Chamber offices from Byrne Industrial area to the space. A committee has been formed to consider the implications or benefits of a move.

Young said he is pleased to have the space as part of the municipal complex that includes Krause Library and City Hall.

“The city is getting an $800,000 building for $49,000,” said Kent County Commissioner Roger Morgan.

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