Hinton promotes Murfreesboro

Published 12:38 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WINTON – While Hertford County local government leaders ponder their next move concerning where to construct the new courthouse, one local municipality is positioning itself to become the home of that facility.

Murfreesboro Mayor John Hinton, speaking on behalf of his town, addressed the Hertford County Board of Commissioners at their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday evening. There, Hinton said he was not speaking as an adversary to his local government colleagues in Winton or elsewhere.

“I simply come to offer an alternative for the courthouse site,” Hinton said.

Hinton admitted that if the commissioners chose to site the new courthouse anywhere other than Winton, the board needs to look at other intangibles besides the obvious – infrastructure (water and sewer connection) and economic impact.

“Each municipality awaiting your decision (to date, they are Winton, Murfreesboro and Ahoskie) has the infrastructure to handle water and sewer, so that’s a moot point (in reaching a decision of where to locate the new facility),” Hinton noted. “Regarding economic impact, I will refuse to go there. If selected, any location, even in the remote reaches of our county, would benefit.”

Hinton encouraged the commissioners to look at the bigger picture in making their decision.

“You must look at the impact this decision will have on our county and how it will affect your vision 25 years from now,” he said. “A magnificent edifice such as this will surely become part of your legacy. It should be erected on a site suitable for expansion, a site that is visible, not hidden away on a back street.”

Mayor Hinton continued, “This beautiful building should be erected where the landscape enhances structural beauty, in an environment complementing not only the courthouse, but also with the potential of becoming a municipal center for future generations.”

Hinton said he has a particular location in mind that fits the bill of what he had just said.

“We have several individual sites on the US 158/258, near NC route 11, with ample acreage where the owners are willing to negotiate a sale,” Hinton said. “Any of these sites would reflect the agricultural heritage and rural beauty of our county.”

Hinton said traffic was busy on the Murfreesboro bypass, a popular route of travel for those heading to and from the famed Outer Banks. He also said that highway serves as a major entry point for the town for those attending local festivals, touring the town’s historic sites and museums as well as those traveling into Murfreesboro to attend athletic events at Chowan University.

“Property along this highway is also only a short distance from the centers of art, culture and higher education in our area,” Hinton stressed, referencing other public opportunities at Chowan University. “It also serves as a gateway to the historic properties, those dating back to the 18th century, located near the river.”

Hinton noted having the courthouse constructed near the university’s campus could have added benefits.

“The courthouse could provide observation opportunities and internships for pre-law and criminal justice majors,” he said. “Who knows, it could quite possibly inspire the establishment of a law school.”

Even though the bypass is not within Murfreesboro’s corporate limits, Hinton promised that the town is willing to provide water and sewer hook ups as well as police and fire protection.

He added that Murfreesboro is no stranger to answering the call when Hertford County was in need.

“When the commissioners have called, we’ve answered, without question, hesitation or mental reservation,” Hinton said. “We were there when water and sewer needed to be expanded into Carver Park, Revelle Park and Rose Road; we were there to provide town water for those having contaminated wells along Benthall Bridge Road; we were there when public housing was needed (Fox Ridge Apartments); and when spot annexation was requested for Riverview Elementary School and Hertford County Middle School.

“Once again we are hearing your call and await your decision with patience. I pray God will bless this commission and our county,” Hinton closed.

In a related matter from Monday’s meeting, the Hertford County Commissioners were presented with an official letter from Town of Ahoskie officials, one promoting that municipality should the board opt to move the courthouse construction project.

The Commissioners invited Ahoskie officials to make a formal presentation, similar to Hinton’s, at any upcoming open meeting of the board.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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