ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County administrative personnel are in the midst of a move nearly three years in the making.
Early this month, they began moving offices from the current location on Hancock Street to the old First Bank building on Fayetteville Road.
Commissioners first approved the agreement to purchase the property in late 2014 for $1.7 million. At that time, County Manger Rick Sago called it a “win-win for everyone involved.”
“This building’s a sick building,” Board of Commissioners Chairman Kenneth Robinette said of the Hancock Street location when the deal was made. He also compared upgrading the facility to “putting lipstick on a pig.”
“You’re talking about antiquated equipment that we’ve got to beg people to come work on,” Sago said. “It’s inefficient and it’s expensive.”
Sago and Robinette said commissioners had wanted a new facility to house a consolidated county services center for more than 15 years.
Martie Butler, county economic developer told the Daily Journal by email on Thursday that the first department to officially move was the finance department on May 12.
“Renovations and up-fitting to the new facility has been going on for several months,” she said.
Butler said the administration staff are scheduled to move next Monday, including the county manager, assistant county manager, clerk to the board of commissioners, water collections department, economic development, administrative assistant and the veterans office.
She added that the administration and water collections department will be closed Friday and the county will not be collecting water payments, and is scheduled to re-open at the new location on Monday.
“The new facility will house multiple departments within one building,” she said. “Tax payments and water payments will be collected at this location. Payments can be made in the main lobby and we have a drive-through option which will be more convenient for the citizens.”
Other county offices that have yet to move are the planning director and the tax administration. Butler added that the tax appraisal division will not be moving to the new building.
Butler said in an email Friday morning that commissioners will not meet at the new building because there is no room, but was unsure where they will be located in the future.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_Toler.