Discussion on future of Augusta County Courthouse continues

Published: Oct. 6, 2016 at 10:43 PM EDT
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It was a packed room Thursday night, as more than 50 people gathered at the Staunton City Council chambers to hear two options for the Augusta County courthouse.

Augusta County Administrator Timothy Fitzgerald spoke in favor of moving the courthouse to Verona.

Duane Barron with Courthouse Solutions said it was best to just renovate the current building.

Fitzgerald explained how a study shows that moving the courthouse for $45 million would be better, while Barron argued it would be cheaper to renovate.

Following presentations folks in the community got to question each side.

Augusta County Supervisor Michael Shull said:

"It does not meet the needs of the function of the court," said Shull.

Barron responded, "It's a building that's certainly worth preserving; it represents a lot of what the county is --who we are as members of this community."

Marshall Pattie, who is the only board member against the move, said it would add to the county's debt.

"It has now since doubled to $90 million dollars, and this would put another $45 million dollars on it, so it would be approximately $135 million dollars," Pattie said.

But those in favor of moving said it's a "must" regardless.

"Library of Virginia will tell you there is nothing you can do to that building to make it climate-controlled to hold that building," said Carol Bridge, the clerk of Augusta County courthouse.

Those living in Augusta County can make their voice heard this election day: this issue will be on the ballot.