Hinton responds to county’s decision

Published 11:14 am Monday, February 13, 2012

MURFREESBORO — On the heels of the Hertford County Commissioners’ decision on Thursday to entertain the offer of free land at Riversedge near Winton, Murfreesboro Mayor John Hinton has responded to the latest development.

On Thursday evening, during a special called meeting of the Murfreesboro Town Council, Hinton released a statement in which he began by saying he respected the county commissioners’ decision to keep the courthouse in Winton.

“I stated numerous times, during this process, that our commissioners have made the welfare of our citizens a priority while facing a most difficult decision,” the statement reads. “I am also very proud of Murfreesboro and my colleagues. While maintaining the high road during this debate, we served as the catalyst for bringing all the citizens offering free land out of the wood work. Where were these well-meaning citizens last August when the commissioners needed support? Obviously, they were initially motivated by excessive profit at that time. I’m confident their conscience will be able to justify their inconsistencies.”

The statement continues, “From the onset, I have believed that the county seat should remain where it has been for the past 250 years. However, Murfreesboro was willing to come to the aid of our commissioners when they were searching for answers and having to deal with groups acting more like school yard bullies than community leaders. Should the decision ever be made to move the county seat from Winton, I truly believe their best alternative is Murfreesboro, the intellectual and cultural nucleus of Hertford County.

“In closing, let me state emphatically that should our county commissioners call on us in the future, Murfreesboro will rise to the occasion and offer our support.”

In August, following the county’s decision to look outside at Winton to build the new facility, Hinton and Murfreesboro officials proposed a piece of property near the US 158 bypass as an alternative site to construct the courthouse.

The Bunch property was offered at $7,500 per acre for 25 acres.

At a meeting in November, the Murfreesboro Town Council adopted a resolution where the town agreed to extend its wastewater lines to that property at no cost to the county and also remove the Bunch property from the town’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). The county could have tapped into its own line for water.