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Scott County offices set to open in new location on Monday

March 1st, 2014 12:16 am by Wes Bunch

Scott County offices set to open  in new location on Monday

Megan Akers, Scott County deputy treasurer; Mitzi Owens, treasurer; and Dianna Grizzle, chief deputy treasurer, work on a computer in their new office. David Grace photo.

GATE CITY — After months of planning and preparation, Scott County’s Commissioner of Revenue, Treasurer and Building Code Inspector’s offices will open for business Monday at their new locations in Gate City.

Both constitutional offices and the building inspector are now housed inside the Scott County Social Services building on Beech Street. County residents will be able to enter the treasurer’s office through the building’s main doors, while those visiting the offices of the commissioner and building code inspector will use an entrance on the back of the building.

All three offices will open for business at their new location March 3 at 8:30 a.m. The Scott County Health Department will also continue to operate out of the facility.

The offices had been housed at the historic Scott County Courthouse on Jackson Street in downtown Gate City.

Scott County Board of Supervisors Chairman Danny Mann said he felt the move was a win-win for the county and its residents.

“I think this is something that is good for everybody in the county,” Mann said. “It’s going to take some getting used to being in a new location, but if they need to visit the treasurer, and the commissioner of revenue and the building code inspector, they can come down here and do it all in one place.”

Mann said the offices should serve the county at their new location for “several decades.”

The remodeled offices, which formerly housed the Appalachian Community Action Agency, feature a changed layout with improved lighting, a new customer service counter in the treasurer’s office, a waiting room, new doors and improved central heating and air.

Scott County Treasurer Mitzi Owens said she was glad to be settled into the new office and have the move completed.

“We love it,” Owens said. “I think it’s going to be a good situation for our community and citizens having a better way to access our office. It’s going to be a change but I think it will be a good change and step forward. We’re excited about it and we’re ready to conduct business.”

Owens said she felt the newer offices used space more efficiently and provided employees and visitors with a better experience and more comfortable surroundings, including the ability to stand inside while waiting to make a payment during tax season.

Although he expressed some concerns about the smaller size of the new offices and the length older citizens would have to walk to his entrance, Scott County Commissioner of Revenue Gary Baker said the move did have its positives.

“I love the lighting in here and the cleanliness of it,” Baker said. “I do worry about some of the older citizens getting to our door, but the Board of Supervisors did what they had to do to improve things at the courthouse.”

Baker also praised the work of Scott County Public Works Director Bill Dingus in coordinating the construction and the office moves. All three offices were shut down this week to facilitate with the transition.

County officials said the move, which was approved in October 2013, was needed to help increase security at Scott County’s nearly 200-year-old courthouse.

“We need more security in the courthouse and when the public is coming in and out all the time it is hard to secure the courthouse,” Scott County Administrator Kathie Noe said. “With these offices out and just court officials in there, we can have one entry that the public has to pass through.”

AppCAA’s move in November to the old Scott County Health Department offices north of Gate City also gave the county the space necessary to move all three offices without needing to spend $2.5 million on expanding the Social Services Building.

In all, the move cost the county $37,700 with work being completed by Public Works employees Chris Harmon, Danny Dockery and Rick Willis and a small crew of trusties from the Scott County Regional Jail.

Now that the offices are out of the county courthouse, officials said a facility committee consisting of entities that occupy or have business in the building will be formed to come up with plans for its future use.

The courthouse is expected to house extended office space for the Scott County Sheriff’s Office.

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