Commissioners Rethink Site Plans
Second thoughts about the government complex plans in downtown Carthage arose at a work session of the Moore County Board of Commissioners Thursday night.
Board members raised questions about the siting of two large facilities on the 21-acre tract stretching from behind the existing jail from Dowd Street to McNeill Street and Sunset Drive.
Commissioner Tim Lea asked the board and the team of architects to consider the possibility of using the entire 21 acres for the public safety-detention center with an eye for future needs of the courts system. He asked the architects to determine if the Carriage Oaks property is suitable for the county office building.
Architects from the Ware-Bonsall and LS3P Boney firms presented site and building layout sketches for the public safety-detention center complex and for the office building.
The Ware-Bonsall architects presented a series of options for design of the detention center, which has been scaled down because of cost issues. The options, which include both single level housing and stacked housing, offer advantages and disadvantages, some of which could affect the government office building.
Board Chairman Nick Picerno asked if the architects had explored all possible sites on the tract for location of their buildings.
Lea asked for a showing of a topographical study and site analysis of the Carriage Oaks property, now the setting for the Department of Social Services, the Department of Planning and Community Development and the Environmental Health Division. The property is located near the intersection of US 15-501 and NC 24-27 and is centered in a cluster of businesses.
After the meeting, Lea said the Carriage Oaks site has plenty of room left for the office building and would provide convenient access to major highways.
He cited information provided by the clerk of court and the resident superior court judge that eventually the county must replace or significantly expand the courts facility, which is hemmed-in within a busy downtown block with little potential for expansion. Not only is the county likely to need a larger court building in future years, Lea said, but the proposed jail expansion calls for a structure that will eventually provide as many as 700 inmate beds, more than twice the capacity currently being planned.
In keeping with board policy, no action was taken during the work session.
The board also discussed financing prospects for the sewage treatment plant, heard an update on the county finance and debt service picture, received updates on Well 9A in Seven Lakes and county employee dependent insurance coverage. Requests were received from the local American Legion post and the ABC Board.
More details will appear in the print version of The Pilot.
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