County to Hire Firm to Study Long-Term Space Needs
Moore County will hire a firm to study county office space needs for the next 20 to 50 years.
At a Tuesday night meeting, the Moore County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to advertise for proposals from firms qualified to conduct such studies.
The scope of the study will encompass not only the Courts Facility building and the historic courthouse but also almost every other building owned by the county. Mentioned are the health, agriculture, elections, social services, parks and recreation buildings, the library, Currie Building, property management, Central Services, child support and district attorney offices.
“Normally, I wouldn’t be happy spending money on a study, but this time we need it,” Commissioner Nick Picerno said. “This one is valuable.”
Commissioner Tim Lea agreed, adding that the study should enable the board to make financial plans in advance as well as plan for office space.
“This is one of the most critical actions this board can take,” Lea said. “It will affect the county long after we’re off the board.”
The cost of the study will not be determined until the proposals are received.
The issue of meeting county office space needs has become acute in recent years because of jail overcrowding and the inadequacies of the building presently used to house the courts. Some of the problems will be solved later this year when the public safety-detention center is occupied.
This will free space in the basement of the Courts Facility building and in the Currie Building.
However, questions remain about the best use of the vacated space and solutions to crowded and outdated facilities in other aspects of county government.
Also during the meeting, the board voted unanimously to adopt a resolution revising the residency districts for all five commissioners and five of the eight members of the board of education. The new districts were approved at an earlier meeting, but the resolution makes the action official.
The new districts are redrawn to provide a more equal population distribution, in keeping with results of the 2010 population census. The new district lines will not change the way in which voters participate, because the residency restrictions apply to candidates, not to voters.
Candidates must reside within the district in which they run for office, but all voters may vote for candidates from all districts. The other three school board members are elected at large and residency district requirements, other than county residency, do not apply.
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