Final town hall to discuss Augusta County Courthouse before vote
Citizens and county board members gathered in Fort Defiance High School's auditorium Monday night to discuss the future of the Augusta County Courthouse one last time before the vote on November 8.
The referendum will give voters the option to vote either "yes" or "no" to building a new courthouse in Verona, which would take the place of the one in Staunton.
Those who want the courthouse rebuilt in Verona say that the move would offer more space, improve accessibility for those who are handicapped and provide better security. All of this is estimated to cost $45 million.
The chair of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors says that this amount should not worry taxpayers.
"The $45 million has been budgeted and we can do that without a tax increase. Anything above the $45 million could potentially result in a tax increase for Augusta County," Carolyn Bragg said.
The citizens against building a new courthouse say fixing up the historical and current Augusta County Circuit Courthouse would only cost $9-10 million.
If the vote to build in Verona is approved, those citizens say they see higher taxes in the future
"I would love to see the numbers; how they expect to accomplish that magic trick without raising taxes or cutting services. It simply cannot be done," Judy Vanderstar said.
If the the people of Augusta county vote "yes" to building the new courthouse, Verona will be the new home. However, if they vote "no," the Virginia Supreme Court has the power to decide if the current space meets the needs of the courts.
For more information from both sides on the Augusta County Courthouse referendum, please see the Related Stories section of this article.
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