Meridian City Council approved the rezoning for a new two-story 35,000 square foot Ada County Coroner’s Office and morgue.
Throughout the pandemic, employees at the coroner’s office have been responsible for investigating at-home COVID-19 deaths— all of this additional work has been conducted in a facility that has not been remodeled since 2002.
Push for a new space
The push for a new coroner’s office has been going on for years, with some officials saying the current space is not adequate. The coroner’s office only uses about 11,750 square feet of the current facility, the remainder is used for storage by the county sheriff and for other county operations. The facility provides coroner services for Ada County along with over 30 counties and three tribal reservations, according to the Idaho Press.
The new $46.4 million facility will sit at 173 N. Touchmark Way in Meridian near DeMeyer Furniture. The office will feature several improvements including a larger body storage area, office space for administration, investigations and forensics, and a temperature-controlled body and tissue storage area.
The coroner’s office is being financed through tax-exempt bonds from the Idaho Health Facilities bond, which issues bonds to help counties improve health care and build facilities. The county will lease the current coroner’s office property until September 1, 2050, or until the 32 million bond is paid off. The lease cannot exceed 99 years.
The payments due under the lease agreement are obligations of the county and are payable through lawful funds such as government revenues and general fund reserves. Payments are due annually.
The county expects the project to be completed by the end of 2022.