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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chamber Executive Committee Urges Commission to Weigh “All Aspects” On Issue of Construction of New County Administration Building

At Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Jackson County Commission the CEO of the Chamber, Art Kimbrough and Ginger Green, the Chairperson of the Board for Main Street Marianna urged the Commissioners to consider all aspects of the issue of where to house our County Administration functions in the coming decades. Kimbrough stated that the Commissioners should consider both the “cost of space” AND the “cost of place” in their analysis.

By this statement he apparently meant that the Commission should also evaluate whether the relocation of those county workers to a location further away from the downtown area would have any negative impact on downtown shops and restaurants. Several of the members of Main Street Marianna fear that relocating those personnel would cause them to lose some business income.

Others argue that by increasing the demand for downtown parking by increasing number of workers located near the courthouse in a new County Administration Building, combined with the added influx of vehicles driven by the general public doing business at these offices would create an even more undesirable downtown parking dilemma and thus cause fewer potential customers to utilize downtown shopping and dining choices.

This is but one of many issues related to the decision facing the Commissioners. These options include whether or not to build a new, three story building on the old jail site,…. versus renovating an available, nearby, existing facility for housing these County functions,….versus nothing at this time because of our unsettled economic environment.

Time, research, and public opinion (and hopefully wisdom) will resolve the issue in the coming weeks.

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