Judge suggests using pipe mill revenue for court renovation - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Judge suggests using pipe mill revenue for court renovation

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -  Youngstown Municipal  Court Judge Elizabeth Kobly suggests that the city use a tax windfall from the new Vallourec Star pipe mill to help upgrade court facilities in the city.

For the past 17 years, municipal judges say they have been trying to convince the city to make improvements that will bring court facilities in compliance with safety and legal standards set by Ohio law.

The dispute has turned into a legal battle, which is now being considered by the Ohio Supreme court.

In a sworn testimony filed with the court on Monday, Judge Kobly questions what the city plans to do with what she describes as a $12-million tax windfall expected from the newly-expanded Vallourec Star plant, formerly known as V&M Star.

The deposition quotes Judge Kobly as saying, "every city official who was questioned said either that they don't know what they're going to do with the money or that they're going to use it for something else besides the Municipal Court."

In depositions given by both Judge Kobly and Judge Robert Millich, each judge speaks in support of a more than $8.2-million architect's proposal to renovate the city hall annex at Market and Front Streets.

Testimony given by both judges address the lack of security and basic conveniences in the existing court located in the same building as city police headquarters.

Kobly testified that the judges ultimately ordered the city to make court improvements because they had no choice.

According to the deposition, Kobly said, "we've been stonewalled, we've been pooh-poohed, we have been ignored, and otherwise just refused."

Other court filings in the case give no indication when the state's highest court will render a decision in the dispute.

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