Board of Supervisors votes to lease building downtown for Fresno County Prosecutors

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everything is changing when the office moves one block away to the newly renovated Rowell building. (KFSN)

The workspace for Fresno County prosecutors is tight. In fact, 50 women share one restroom. The break room is tiny and most attorneys eat at their desks because it is the only place where they have at least small space to themselves.

Next year- everything is changing when the office moves one block away to the newly renovated Rowell Building.

"I think the thing we're most excited about other than just all being together is that we'll actually have a lunchroom, we'll actually have adequate restrooms, and we'll actually have places for people, for our investigators to do their training. Because we've always had to borrow spaces from other law enforcement agencies to get that done," said Lisa Smittcamp, Fresno County District Attorney.

The Del Webb building houses much of the District Attorney's staff including some prosecutors-- but specialized units have office space in six different locations. It makes file sharing and communicating less than ideal.

"Not only do we simply not have enough office space for the number of people that we have, but we're spread out throughout the county. And it really doesn't do anything for efficiency."

Tuesday, the board of supervisors voted unanimously to approve the lease agreement. The plan is to rent for now and save enough money to buy the building in 10 years from the Lance Kashian Company. County leaders said the process began in 2013 and a more practical space is long overdue.

"Fast forward, we now find that we have the financial means to make this happen and a compelling reason to justify it," said Andreas Borgeas, Fresno County Supervisor.

"One way or another, we're going to buy this building. In month 114 so that's the plan," said Jean Rousseau, Fresno County.

The lease is for 20 years, with an option to buy at 10 years. For the next decade, county administrators will be saving up for the $15 million purchase price.

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