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- Published on Wednesday, 02 June 2010 01:22
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The meeting the Westmoreland Supervisors previously scheduled for last Wednesday with state lawmakers Pollard and Stuart and the local government’s consulting architect had to be canceled earlier last week.
According to the official notice issued by County Administrator Norm Risavi, the special meeting was canceled “due to a change in Senator Stuart’s schedule.”
On May 10 the supervisors met with Virginia Department of Transportation representatives who confirmed that state funding for road improvement projects has been substantially reduced and that it remains unlikely that more funding will be made available in next few years.
The supervisors envisioned the meeting with Delegate Albert Pollard and Senator Richard Stuart as an opportunity to express frustrations and ask that a new funding stream be identified or created in order to offset existing revenue shortfalls.
On June 1, County Administrator Norm Risavi disclosed no plans to reschedule the May 26 special meeting. Risavi instead addressed the second topic on the canceled meeting’s agenda that concerned construction of a new judicial complex in Westmoreland.
As long ago as July 2006 the discussions began concerning the commissioning of a county government, courts and law enforcement space needs assessment. The county’s space needs considerations took on a tone of greater urgency when Judge Harry Taliaferro requested in October 2009 that the county provide the courts with a new judicial center.
According to Judge Taliaferro, the George D. English Building’s judicial facilities are unable to fulfill contemporary security requirements and the housing of court records in the county’s old courthouse creates other kinds of logistical difficulties. The Westmoreland supervisors were put on notice that the time has come to construct a new judicial center.
County Administrator Risavi told The Journal he is currently attempting to schedule a meeting with all the judges that is mutually convenient. The judges and members of the county government will meet with the consulting architect from dBF Associates for the purpose of reviewing the options and contributing input to preliminary design considerations.
“The problem is, it’s difficult to schedule a time to meet,” Risavi said. “All the judges need to be present.”
He noted that the courts’ English Building facilities were never intended to be used as a judicial center.
Risavi additionally acknowledged the English Building’s age and said neighboring jurisdictions judicial centers are much newer than the facilities the courts use in Westmoreland.
Information associated with projected costs of possible construction options has not yet been released. The supervisors’ next regularly scheduled meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on June 14 in A.T. Johnson auditorium.
— Betsy Ficklin