$820,000 set aside to build separate court entrance for paying tickets

The Clark County Commission on Tuesday unanimously agreed to allocate $820,000 to Las Vegas Justice Court to build a separate entrance at the Regional Justice Center for people trying to pay traffic tickets.

County officials believe creating the entrance could cut down on lengthy lines of people going through security at the downtown courthouse by as much as 40 percent. The entrance would be similar to that at the marriage bureau on Clark Street, which does not require folks to go through metal detectors before entering.

Justice Court spokeswoman Ladeana Gamble said the project is in its early stages, but is considered a priority. She said it could be complete as soon as next year.

The money for the project comes from the county capital projects fund. On Tuesday, the commission agreed to spend $29.5 million on improvement projects.

Another project that was funded was a $521,000 sewer vent pipe repair job at the Justice Center. According to the commission’s agenda, a metallurgic analysis found that some vent pipes are being “attacked by metal-eating bacteria.” If the pipes aren’t replaced there could be a “complete failure of the venting system, which could render parts of the building unusable.”

The metal-eating bacteria is just the latest problem for the downtown courthouse, located at Lewis Avenue and Third Street.

The Justice Center has had its share of woes since opening three years late in 2005. Problems have included malfunctioning elevators, lengthy security lines, a leaking roof and millions of dollars in unplanned construction costs.

The building’s original design in 1999 called for an 18th floor, which would have eased the current crowding. But the county eliminated the extra floor to save $3 million.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@review journal.com or 702-380-1039.