Human rights group’s forum on courthouse relocation on Monday

 

Greenfield Recorder 08/17/2012, Page C02

By ANITA FRITZ

Recorder Staff

GREENFIELD — The town’s Human Rights Commission will hold a public forum on Monday to discuss the relocation of the courthouse during its $60 million renovation.

Lewis Metaxas, chairman of the commission, said members would like to gather opinions and testimony regarding the relocation of the courthouse and its employees — specifically, how the courthouse renovation relocation may impact vulnerable citizens, including the county’s low income residents, its human services agencies and the people they serve, legal services serving the poor, victims of domestic abuse, children, and downtown businesses.

The public forum will be held at 6 p.m. in the second floor meeting room of Town Hall.

“We anticipate the commission may make a recommendation to and go before the state Division of Capital Asset Management,” said Metaxas, who said the mayor and Rep. Paul Mark plan to attend the forum.

Metaxas said he is waiting to hear whether Sen. Stanley Rosenberg and Rep. Denise Andrews.

DCAM is expected in the “coming months” to decide among two proposals to relocate Superior, District and Probate and Family courts, as well as the law library and probation offices.

The two locations are the former Carr Hardware building on Wells Street and the Corporate Center on Munson Street.

The two choices have downtown business and restaurant owners and town officials a little worried about how a move out of the downtown, even for the short term, would affect business.

Many have said a move from downtown would be devastating for businesses and their employees.

The Human Rights Commission is also concerned about the people who use the courthouse.