Flooding Possible, Chairman Stan Helton Adds Information on Courthouse Move

It rained or drizzled yesterday and last night, but not as much as was feared. Yesterday, the EMA warned people in flood prone areas to be vigilant overnight. According to the weather station at Merciers, we’ve had .89″ rain in the last 24 hours. Cutcane Creek is again very high, but not out of its banks. There’s a feeling of spring in the air, and the peepers are going crazy.

In response to a followup question, Chairman Helton told me that the plans are to move the following county offices to the Whitepath building: Commissioners, Land Development & Building Inspection, Tax Commissioner, Tax Assessors, Election Office, and Library.

Unless I’m missing something, that would be the entire first floor of the courthouse, and one of the third floor offices (Election Office). What would be left would be the Courtroom, Jury Assembly Room, Clerk of Courts (Deed Room), Magistrate’s Court, Clerk of the Superior Court, and the Probate Court. In other words, the judicial functions, along with the county jail at the rear of the courthouse.

Mr. Helton also said, “An assessment will be made later on as to the ‘best utilization’ of empty offices.  For example – we are moving the Public Defender office from the Owenby Building into the Old Fire Station office next to the courthouse. This move will save the taxpayers $27,000 a year on rent alone.

I am sure there will be ample opportunity to improve and/or save taxpayer funds on the vacated courthouse spaces. Nothing is definite at present.”

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