Commissioners clarify veterans office move

Some clarity from the Washington County Board of Commissioners pertaining to the relocation of certain county offices:

Much confusion has been created by the circulation of inaccurate information regarding the move by the Washington County Veterans Services from Pike Street to Putnam Street.

During late summer of 2017 the interim director of Washington County Veterans Services approached the board of county commissioners concerning property downtown to relocate Veterans Services. His stated desire was to be closer to the courthouse and Community Action for services they often provide to our veterans. He also advised that the current facility was costing an exorbitant amount of money. It was explained that the only property the commissioners could make available was the annex where the commissioners’ offices have been housed since the mid 1980s. The director felt that this space would be adequate for their need, and so began the orderly shuffle of offices.

Those discussions further precipitated the purchase of the former Chase Bank property near the courthouse. This newly-acquired property provides parking for Veterans Services and also allows for consolidation of county services in the former drive-thru building. As recent as May 24, 2018 the county commissioners met with the director and board of Veterans Services to discuss the accelerated timeline of moving, and it was agreed the commissioners would move June 21, 2018, soon to be followed by Veterans Services. The county commissioners completed their move June 22.

The anticipated moving of Veteran Services to 223 Putnam St. will save tens of thousands of dollars in rent and maintenance payments each year. The county commissioners arranged for the space to be rent-free, and the new location has required parking including ADA-compliant spaces. Moving Veterans Services allows easier access to Community Action, the courthouse, and downtown services.

The Washington County Board of Commissioners is now, and always has been, prepared to assist the Washington County Veterans Services Board in properly stewarding the services to veterans while stewarding the taxpayers’ dollar.

The Washington County Board of Commissioners.

COMMENTS