Riversedge is the right choice

Published 11:20 am Monday, February 13, 2012

It’s got to be hard for anyone that grew up in Hertford County to imagine the courthouse any place but Winton. Two hundred and forty six years is quite a rich tradition.

I must admit when I first arrived here in December and discovered the courthouse wasn’t in Ahoskie, I was a little shocked. After all Ahoskie is the center of commerce of the area and the largest town in Hertford County.  Why shouldn’t it be the county seat?

There’s the beautiful and historical town of Murfreesboro that is home to Chowan University, one of the fastest growing universities in the state of North Carolina, and Murfreesboro too has plenty of commerce there.

Winton is the smallest of the towns, but has the deep roots of tradition of being the county seat for nearly 250 years. Winton has a rich share of history, and one can’t dispute the beauty of the town lying upon the banks of Chowan River.

The Riversedge property located just outside the town limits of Winton certainly offers the most room for future expansion of county offices with 25 acres. Plenty of room for the new E-911 building that the state is mandating Hertford County to build in the near future, room for a county jail, room for county administration offices, room for a new county health department, and room for most anything else that Hertford county may need in the future.

Each location certainly merits its own reasons for being the next location of our courthouse.  However, neither the Ahoskie nor the Murfreesboro sites are truly in the center of the county.  Meanwhile, the town proper of Winton would certainly limit future expansion of the county needs.

The Riversedge property is almost in the dead center of the two most populated areas of the county, only nine miles from Murfreesboro and eight miles from Ahoskie and only a stone’s throw from the town limits of Winton.  This site by far is the most logical location and will be a win, win for all concerned. There are plans to four lane US 158 and US 13 in the near future. It just makes plain common sense to choose this location. Not to mention the 25 acres will be donated at no cost to the tax payers of Hertford County.

At the Hertford County Commissioners meeting on Monday, the board members agreed to hold a workshop and put each location under the microscope. Chairman Curtis Freeman promised to leave no stone unturned and on Thursday the commissioners rolled up their sleeves and did exactly as Chairman Freeman promised.

I was impressed with the commission’s focus and their desire to hone in on the very best site that would best serve all the citizens of Hertford County. After a review of each site the commissioners voted to accept the offer of free land from the partnership that owns Riversedge. This does not mean Riversedge is a done deal as the county still must go though the due diligence process before it is official.

The decision of this board is of historical proportions and should not be taken lightly. Their decision will affects everyone in this county and will have repercussions for generations to come.  The decision should be based solely on what is best for Hertford County. What’s best for us now, the future, and the future of our children and, of our children’s children.

Riversedge at Winton is the right choice!


Joe Cowart is Publisher of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at joe.cowart@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7218.