County Finishing Move To Community Center, Emge Brings Up Judicial Center Problems

By Alex Haglund

The Washington County Board’s regular meeting for February, held the evening Tuesday, February 10, was the board’s final meeting at the old county court house, prior to its estimated 16 month renovation, at which time the board will be meeting in the “Birthday Room” of the Community Center in Nashville at the regular time, 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of March.

There was plenty of discussion at the meeting regarding the move, county offices and the county’s temporary home.

“It’s going to be tight,” said Building Committee Chair Gary Suedmeyer, “and once everything is over there, we may end up needing to rent some more storage space.”

At the time of the meeting, two of the county offices, treasurer and supervisor of assessments, had already been moved, with the clerk’s office the last to change buildings.

Judicial Center Building Issues

Judge Dan Emge came to speak to the board.

“There’s a couple of things I want to bring to your attention and most of them are about the building,” said Emge.

Emge spoke about issue’s with the building’s heating and cooling, maintenance staff, not having been taught to adjust the thermostats by contractors, and heating and cooling issues in the lobby.

Windows were another issue, with Emge stating to the board that the windows, particularly in offices on the north side.

“If you hold your hand to a window, you can feel the air coming through,” Emge said, adding that his staff could see daylight through cracks around the window.” When it’s cold in the winter, we can sure feel it.”

“The lighting in the courtrooms have an awful lot of burned out bulbs,” said Emge, “maybe three-to-five a week.”

Perhaps Emge’s biggest issue was, “this building is supposed to be secure. It’s not secure.”

Emge stated that a metal security door which opened from the lobby to the outside could be opened by someone who had already cleared security to let someone else inside. Emge suggested that an alarm be added to notify security personnel if that door is open.

Board members also asked state’s attorney Heath Hooks, who was present at the meeting. Hooks stated that two signs by his office stated “State Attorney” instead of “State’s Attorney.”

“I share the judge’s concerns about the building,” Hooks said, but added, “Our new building is very nice. It’s much improved over this building (the old courthouse) in every way in its function and aesthetics.”

Emge stated that he agreed with Hooks but said that the problems with the building needed to be fixed at this early point in its lifetime, while channels of communication with those who built it are still open.

For More, Please Read the February 18 Edition Of The Nashville News..

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