April 16, 2014

Watkinsville: Keep Oconee Offices Downtown


The Watkinsville City Council last week interjected itself into the ongoing discussion about what to do with the existing Oconee County Courthouse by unanimously passing a resolution, authored by Brian Brodrick, stating that it believes county offices should remain in downtown Watkinsville.

The vote came as the Oconee County Board of Commissioners was about to relaunch its discussion of the 2015 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum, now scheduled to be on the ballot in November.

The major uncertainty in those discussions is how to handle a request by Chief Superior Court Judge David Sweat for $25 million in SPLOST funds for a new courthouse or judicial facility.

At its last discussion of SPLOST priorities—at a called meeting on Mar. 3Commission Chairman Melvin Davis proposed that no money from SPLOST 2015 be used for a new courthouse or judicial facility.

Instead, he proposed, all offices other than judicial ones should move out of the existing courthouse, and the county should use $2.7 million in unspent funds from SPLOST 2004 to make over the existing courthouse as a strictly judicial facility.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.