Courthouse needs replacing, not renovating

Published 9:07 pm Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hertford County has a problem and one that isn’t going away.

The current Hertford County Courthouse is not only an embarrassment to the people of this county, but unsafe and structurally deficient as well.

We are pleased to see the Hertford County Commissioners moving forward to find out what their options are regarding a courthouse that will better serve the citizens. They have conducted a study, heard from stakeholders and received a report as to what can happen.

The next step is making a decision about which step they will follow. They can renovate the current structure or they can choose one of two options for building a new facility.

The simple fact is that renovation should not be an option. There are just too many negatives in that scenario. Spending $1 million to lease a space to serve a short life as a temporary courthouse only to have it torn down or removed would be a waste of tax-payer money.

Spending $3.9 million to renovate a building that is bad shape and has been for years would be spending good money with a less than desirable outcome.

The right thing to do is build a new courthouse – one that meets the needs of the citizens of Hertford County, today and in the future, and addresses the space problems that already exist.

Hopefully, it can be worked out to choose option 2B which would also move the District Attorney’s Office and Probation and Parole to the new Hertford County Judicial Center. This would be the best use of money and would provide for better service to people in Hertford County.

The Hertford County Commissioners have made wise decisions thus far. We trust they will continue to do so.