NORTH BEND — Soon the North Bend Coos County Courthouse Annex will be the only office in operation at the large county owned building on McPherson Avenue.
State and federal funds have given Coos Health and Wellness the opportunity to leave the building on McPherson, and move into a brand new, state of the art, medical facility. The new Coos Health and Wellness facility is scheduled to open Jan. 15, and will be located near the Western Oregon Advanced Health building on Laclair Street.
As the Coos Health and Wellness move approaches, other services have decided to move from the annex building. Services moving out include Community Corrections, the Assessor’s office, and Juvenile Services. These services will be moving to a satellite office located near the airport.
“Courts will stay there as far as we know,” county commissioner Bob Main said.
The courthouse annex, which only takes up the northwest corner of McPherson building will be the only office operating in the former hospital. The county is interested in relocating the courthouse annex, but State Courts has not approved any sort of relocation at this time.
“Years ago, the state provided the county money to fix up the wing of the annex that’s being used as a courthouse. With accepting that money we also committed to maintaining that courthouse there for a rather long period of time. I can’t remember off the top of my head, but it’s something like 10 or 15 years we’re obligated to keep the courthouse there,” Commissioner John Sweet said.
If the state courts wish to let the county out of their obligation to the current annex building they could, but they haven’t decided to do so yet.
“We’ve asked them to consider it and they would like to leave the court house there at this point in time,” Sweet said.
It is convenient for many folks in Coos County to have the annex in North Bend, allowing the county to split up court functions between the annex and the main courthouse in Coquille. Currently the annex deals mostly with traffic violations and small claims court cases.
“I think it would be advantageeous to move the annex out of that building. However, that decision has to be made by state courts,” Sweet said.
According to Main, the city of North Bend has shown some slight interest in the using the building, but nothing is certain.
“From the county’s perspective we would save at least $150,000 a year by eliminating that building,” commissioner Melissa Cribbins said.
As of the mid-January, the county is responsible for maintaining and securing a building which they will use very little of.
“We’re going to have to secure it from people getting in to areas they're not supposed to be in, other than going to court,” Main said.