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Application period opens for Underfunded Courthouse Facility grants

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

DENVER – The new Colorado Underfunded Courthouse Facility Cash Fund Commission has opened the application period for the first round of grants to help eligible counties cover costs of courthouse repair, remodeling or construction projects.

Forty-three counties are eligible for the first round of grants under criteria set in statute. Seventeen of those counties are considered high priority counties because they met all the statutory criteria.

Applications, rules and other information on the Underfunded Courthouse Facility Cash Fund, including a map and list of eligible counties, may be found at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Administration/Unit.cfm?Unit=undfunct. Grant applications must be received by 5 p.m. March 2, 2015.

Pursuant to statute, counties are responsible for building and maintaining courtrooms and other court facilities; the Judicial Department is responsible for furnishing the courthouses. The 2014 General Assembly created the grant program to help counties with the most limited financial resources ensure access to safe courthouses that allow for the efficient and effective administration of justice.

“We are grateful to the General Assembly for providing some additional resources to counties where courthouses are lacking in modern and effective security, access and other features,” said Colorado Chief Justice Nancy E. Rice. “Courts need to be available to all residents, and this will help ensure the broadest possible access to justice.”

Funding for the grants comes from appropriations made by the General Assembly. For the first round of grants, $650,000 is available. The Judicial Department has requested $3 million for the grant fund for 2016.

To be eligible for grants, counties must meet at least two of four criteria set in statute: counties whose total population is below the median among all Colorado counties; counties in which per capita income is below the state median; counties in which property tax revenues are below the state median; and counties in which the population living below the federal poverty line is above the state median.

Counties that meet all four criteria will be given the highest priority for grants.

Funds from the grants may be used to pay for master planning services for a courthouse project, matching or leveraging additional grant funds or to address emergency needs due to the imminent closure of a courthouse. Grant funds may not be used to pay for furniture, fixtures or equipment, and cannot be used as the sole source of funding for new construction unless the need stems from the imminent closure of a courthouse.

Completed applications should be sent by 5 p.m. March 2, 2015, to Marty Galvin, c/o State Court Administrator’s Office, 1300 Broadway, Suite 1200, Denver, CO 80203. Applications will not be accepted by fax or e-mail.

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