WILMINGTON — County commissioners charted first steps Wednesday on moves meant to help departments that currently need more space.
Among the steps are moving the public defender staff from the Annex Building on South Nelson Avenue to a first-floor courthouse room presently occupied by GIS (Geographic Information Systems). That idea came from Commissioner Brenda K. Woods who described the public defender’s relocation as temporary.
That move will enable the county’s Building & Zoning (B&Z) Department to move to the current public defender area in the Annex. The B&Z move, meanwhile, will allow the Board of Elections (BOE) to use the current B&Z space for daily operations.
As reported last week, the prospect of new, less space-consuming equipment is making a BOE move to the Annex more feasible than when the same re-location was proposed last July. At the time, the proposal was set aside largely due to the BOE’s need to have, for weeks on end, exclusive use of the Annex’s community room — a place frequently utilized by 4-H youth and senior citizens, among others.
Those scheduling conflicts would not arise with the new equipment.
After the commissioners session Wednesday, Clinton County Board of Elections Deputy Director Jay Peterson said the elections board is actively researching the new equipment and if that works out well, a move by the BOE to the Annex Building in the next nine months or so would become “more palatable” than before.
The one-person staff of the GIS Department is expected to soon move down the courthouse hallway to the area occupied by the Tax Map Office, thereby opening up space for the public defender. According to Wednesday’s planning, the coroner’s office will move from the Annex Building to the Administration Building on East Sugartree Street.
Although the county’s B&Z Department would move from its current space, it would remain in the Annex Building, moving to the current public defender area there.
An interior wall will need to be removed in the current B&Z space to make way for the Board of Elections. Interior walls also will need to be removed at the existing coroner space in the Annex.
A PowerPoint presentation showing the plans outlined Wednesday is anticipated during the commissioners meeting on Monday, March 26 in the commissioners office at the courthouse.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.