Chester City Council to discuss funding security changes to courtrooms

Chester City Council to discuss funding security changes to courtrooms

CHESTER, SC (WBTV) - Chester City Council is expected to discuss a request for changes to be made to the Chester County Courts building on Monday.

County Supervisor Shane Stuart says he and a magistrate have been working on a plan to fund upgrades that would make the courtrooms safer since 2016. He says the change would involve the layout of the courtroom.

Stuart says to make the changes, they estimate it would cost roughly $116,000. Stuart says they have $95,000 from a bond, but they are short about $21,000.

Since the courtrooms are used for both city and county cases, Stuart says they are looking for a partnership.

City Councilwoman Angela Douglas says a magistrate presented the partnership to the council at a recent meeting. She says the issue mostly pertains to how close the judge sits to the door where the public enters.

Council is expected to hear the final reading of next year's budget on Monday, but she says the courtroom changes will not be a part of the budget.

"We have been doing a lot of capital projects so our capital projects funding is narrow or thin," Douglas said.

She says council could discuss the possibility of funding courtroom changes at Monday night's council meeting, but it would have to pass two readings before being added to the budget.

"It's very much an important issue, but funding has to be there too," Douglas said. "So I'm sure at some point we will figure out a way to make all of this work."

At WBTV's request, the Chief Magistrate deferred comment to the Chester County Sheriff's Office, which handles courtroom security.

Chief Deputy Robert Sprouse says the county's request would not change anything deputies do, but would only change the structure of the courtroom.

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