DADE CITY — After listening to the region's chief judge, prosecutor and public defender plead for a new central Pasco courthouse, county commissioners decided to put off any more discussion until fall.
Commissioners didn't shut the door on the proposal, which was estimated to cost $28 million and would be paid for with bonds from traffic fines and proceeds from a half-cent sales tax. But they said they are dealing with a tough 2014 budget now and didn't want to commit yet.
Circuit Judge Thomas McGrady, chief justice of the Pasco-Pinellas Judicial Circuit, along with Pasco-Pinellas State Attorney Bernie McCabe and Public Defender Bob Dillinger said the need was urgent. They cited a 90 percent case clearance rate, which is about 10 percent lower than Pinellas and the state average and said a central criminal courthouse would improve efficiency so judges and attorneys could cover for each other.