Future needs outweigh monetary savings

Published 8:18 am Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hertford County has good leadership.

Having an experienced County Manager who is not in her first “rodeo” has been a great help to the county and its citizens. We believe she is fiscally responsible and conservative and does what she can to hold the line on taxes.

She is good at her job and that’s why she has constantly cautioned against building a full third floor of the proposed new Hertford County Courthouse. She doesn’t want to commit nearly a million dollars of additional funding to the project.

We’re certain her stance is simply based on the financial responsibilities – and that is her job.

The responsibility of the Hertford County Commissioners, however, is to take into account both the financial burden and the needs of the county over the next 10 years and beyond. While those planning the facility believe they have a good design in place, one never knows what may happen in the future.

Whatever does happen, it is important to be prepared and the best way to do that is to provide an unfinished section of the third floor. It isn’t possible to put the building in two floors without major costs due to wastewater regulations and thus, at least a partial third floor is required.

It seems better to plan for the future by going ahead and providing the shell of more space without finishing it entirely. That can be done for less than three-quarters of a million dollars. It sounds like a lot, but – as Commissioner William F. “Bill” Mitchell pointed out – it would cost more to do in the future if it had to be done.

Too many times we do things “the best way we can” without giving the proper thought for the future. This shouldn’t be one of those times.

The Hertford County Commissioners should move forward with the full third floor at a cost that will seem like a huge savings when it is actually needed in a few years.

–       The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald