New offices for two county departments

By Lesley Jenkins
Star Staff

Walking into the current Carter County Planning and Veterans Service office right now would remind someone of the commercial where the man is walking into a store and stepping over and ducking under imaginary things because he is used to doing it in his cramped office.
   The man buys new office furniture to correct the lack of space, but if the Planning and Veterans Service office bought new furniture there still wouldn't be anywhere to put it.
   The solution: get new offices. Years ago the courthouse purchased the white house that is located at the rear of the courthouse hoping to renovate it for extra office space. County Executive Dale Fair said, "We're not spending very much money on it." He estimated the total cost of renovation to be between $7,500 to $10,000.
   Health and Safety Enforcement Officer Craig Malone is stationed in the same space which is making the space even more cramped. Malone could really use more space since his job of investigating and enforcing litter control will be accumulating more and more paperwork as new cases keep piling in every day.
   Prisoners from the Northeast Correctional Center are working now on gutting out the inside of the building, tearing up the carport and removing walls. On days that the NECC prisoners don't work because of rain or other work schedules, inmates from the Carter County Jail perform many duties, such as clearing up brush.
   Six people, including a new receptionist, will be working in the rejuvenated space in about a month if there are no major delays in the progress. Included in the building will be an area to hold zoning, district and boundaries maps, a VA waiting room and a conference room.
   Fair said customers can come into the building to buy permits without the hassle of going to the second floor. Another advantage of the new offices is easier entry for handicap customers. Many handicap veterans who want to come into the current VA office have trouble accessing it because it is located on the second floor of the courthouse.
   The new building will have handicap access and an extra eight to 12 parking spaces. Even though a lot of planning has gone into the renovation, Fair said a name for the building has not been decided. Fair said there is already an annex, and jokingly said that they probably wouldn't call it The White House.