Top two revealed

Published 10:28 am Tuesday, December 6, 2011

WINTON – It’s down to two.

On Monday, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners narrowed their list from three to two of potential sites to build the county’s new courthouse.

The two finalists are the Percy Bunch property (25+ acres located near the intersection of US 158 Business and the Murfreesboro Bypass) and the Stuart Pierce property (Roanoke-Chowan Crossing located near Frazier’s Crossroads on NC 561 west of Ahoskie).

Monday’s decision by the board completely removes Winton from the list of possible locations. Originally, the commissioners were to build the new courthouse on county-owned property on Tryon Street in Winton. They hired an architect to draw up plans for that location. However, since late spring, county officials and Winton Town Commissioners have been at odds over the new courthouse. At their Sept. 13 meeting, Winton Commissioners approved a street setback variance for the courthouse, but denied the county’s plan to provide for ample parking during the construction process.

County officials did include a potential courthouse construction site on US 158 just west of Winton. That 70-acre parcel is located within the Riversedge development.

Hertford County Manager Loria Williams confirmed on Monday that the county will be able to purchase the Bunch property for $190,500 or the Pierce property for $325,000. She added the best offer for the Riversedge property was $400,000.

“It was the board’s intent to narrow the list to two, now we can have a site analysis performed on those two parcels of land to see which is best suited to handle the new courthouse,” Williams said.

In an effort to help promote the Bunch property, the Murfreesboro Town Council earlier this month adopted a resolution agreeing to construct the necessary sewer and water infrastructure as well as remove the Bunch property from the town’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) should the county select that particular parcel for the construction of the new courthouse.

The Pierce property already has access to public water and sewer.

Williams said the board was hoping to have the site analysis complete and a report in their hands in time for their next scheduled meeting on Jan. 3.

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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