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Renovations soon will transform old courthouse into mayor, attorney offices

County-Owned Property Committee members recommended the approval of $17,000 from the Capital Projects line to begin renovations on the second floor of the courthouse.
The renovations will accommodate offices for the mayor and county attorney.
John Rambo, Washington County’s first in-house counsel, said he is 80 percent in agreement with the design approved in concept by committee members during their August meeting.
According to the plans, the legal services staff will take the two offices behind the courtroom that formerly served judges.
The mayor and his executive assistant will divide the space behind the jury box, which will be removed and walled off.
The inset on the opposite side of the courtroom also will be walled off and included as part of the corridor. The former jury room along that hall will be divided into a shared conference room and smaller break room.
During the Sept. 5 meeting, Rambo proposed taking a portion of the conference room so his county paralegal and legal secretary did not have to share the second judge’s office.
Rather than require the conference and break rooms be combined, committee members decided a modular furniture design will be employed in the judge’s office instead.
Commissioner Doyle Cloyd made a motion to approve up to $5,000 to begin the removal of the restroom located in one of the legal services offices and the carpet, and up to $6,000 each for office furniture that would create two work stations. Commissioner Joe Sheffield seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Members of the Budget Committee will consider the recommendation during their meeting on Thursday, Sept. 13.
Mayor Dan Eldridge said once the architectural estimate is received, which will include a new design for seating at county commission meetings, the project will be bid.
Plans are to have the legal services staff in place by Nov. 1.