The Douglas County Board of Commissioners has made a final decision to take over a historic downtown building through eminent domain. The board voted five to two on Tuesday to move forward with a plan to acquire and demolish the building near 18th and Howard to make way for a new juvenile justice center.
That plan call for development of a $120 million juvenile justice center on the site, which would put courts, detention, services and attorneys all under one roof.
Commissioners mocked presenters at the meeting, shutting off the mics of several citizens, those offering materials and each other with tempers rising, arguments ensued. Proposals had been advanced to consider cheaper alternatives including renovation of the existing Douglas County Youth Center.
The building's owner says he saw the decision coming all along. "I think for some reason, they decided that this is where they are going to build something downtown, and they're going to tear down whatever is there to get there. They could care less," said Bob Perrin.
Commissioners Mike Boyle and Jim Cavanaugh were the only two who voted against using eminent domain.