Pasco Municipal Court may be in a new building by summer 2013.
The Pasco City Council discussed the project Monday.
Court space, a Pasco police station and the new and remodeled Franklin County jail were among the intended uses of the 0.3 percent public safety sales tax 61 percent of county voters approved in November.
The council already approved hiring four police officers so the city can form a street crimes unit of four experienced officers to target gang-related crimes.
April will be the first month that additional sales tax for public safety will be collected.
Pasco will consider hiring LCA Architects of Seattle, the same firm Franklin County hired for its jail expansion, to design the court space next week.
Municipal Court likely will be on the first floor of a two-story building in front of the expanded jail. The sheriff's office, information services and dispatch may be on the second floor.
The city's lease for its current municipal court in the county's public safety building expires in May.
Municipal Court space is expected to cost just over $3 million, said Stan Strebel, Pasco's deputy city manager. That includes a $220,000 fee to LCA for design, bidding and construction management, $2.5 million for construction of a 10,000-square-foot municipal court and the city's share of common space and site work, he said.
The county intends to seek bids for the project in the fall. Construction is expected to take up to 14 months, he said.