FSA void leaves empty office space

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WINTON – As it is within the public sector, downsizing through regionalism is being felt as well within county government.

Due to the closing of the Farm Service Agency in Winton, Hertford County officials are left with available office space within County Office Building #2, located on West Tryon Street.

“Farm Service Agency had been talking and discussing for a number of years about regionalization and they finally made that move,” said Hertford County Manager Loria Williams as she addressed the county commissioners at their Monday morning meeting. “That leaves us with a very large facility that is currently vacant. We’ve had some interests expressed to me about the possibility of moving into that facility.”

She encouraged the commissioners to visit that building following the adjournment of Monday’s meeting to see for themselves the space now available.

“I’m recommending that we wait for a little while before deciding what to do with that space,” Williams suggested to the board. “I feel we need to perform some comparisons of how it relates to the DSS move that we have currently in the back of our minds, related to our overall construction program.”

That latter statement deals with the ongoing effort to build a new county courthouse and administration office on a tract of land located just west of Winton. That new administrative office will move 19 county employees from Office Building #1, freeing up additional space for Hertford County DSS which currently shares space with county administration in the same building.

“What we want to do is shift employees into a better situation rather than one that is comparable or not as conducive to the work flow,” Williams said.

She promised the commissioners she would compile a list for them of the entities seeking the now available space in Office Building #2.

“This is also a good time while that office space is vacant to perform some needed upgrades there,” Williams noted. “There’s some work that needs to be done there before we move someone else there, but I again implore you to wait to decide how to fill that space while we’re playing musical chairs in regards to the courthouse project.”

“I’ve been in there and I agree that it’s quite a bit of open space,” Commission Chair Curtis Freeman said. “I concur that we need to look at the big picture before we move anyone there. Some that have approached me about it really are not in need of the space, they just want to branch out. That’s not saying we will refuse someone moving there. Rather, we need to study this very closely to ensure we’re using the space the best way possible.”

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.

email author More by Cal