Temporary Housing Costs For Renovation Plan Could Be Better Spent
Fellow County Residents
I am a member of the Courthouse Committee, and have
attended every meeting held on the courthouse including the one held at the
Care building by the Committee to Save the Courthouse. I have listened to building experts, state
and local historical preservationists, other officials and fellow county
citizens for over a year. I have taken
this task seriously and have tried to inform others as facts became known.
I sincerely hope a viable plan can be presented to
the Commissioners to save the courthouse.
These feelings, however, do not override my reasoning to request the
Commissioners to place the ballot before the voters to build a new
courthouse. The risk to the safety and
security of county employees and citizens is just too great to allow the
current building to continue to function as our Circuit Courtroom and county
The approximate $200,000 needed to move county
government from the courthouse for renovation would serve the county better if
applied to a new building. The length
of time county government would be disrupted, not to mention the task of
obtaining temporary housing somewhere in the county has to be taken into
consideration. The courthouse is on
the register of historical places and that will be a determining factor in the
cost of renovation, if this is the option the citizens finally choose. Asbestos and lead paint in the courthouse
will further drive up costs for renovation.
The Courthouse Committee received an estimate for renovation plus an
addition because the courtroom could not be in the existing courthouse. The price of renovation plus addition was
$800,000 over the $4 million the county can bond. Plus, renovation usually costs more than the initial estimates,
because of unforeseen problems after the project starts. How long will a renovation last before we
have to go through the same process again?
These are just some of the questions I faced making
my decision. The Courthouse Committee
has provided a pamphlet “A New Courthouse?
Questions and answers for your consideration”, to inform the
voters. I have been convinced of the
need for a new courthouse and plan to vote “Yes” on November 3, 2009. Hope to see you there.
Charles “Chuck” Braxton, Courthouse Committee member
October 23, 2009