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Madison County needs more space

The county needs about 3,500 square feet more to adequately meet its space needs, according to the initial results of a county-wide survey by Beardsley Design.

Beardsley representatives Scott Hackett and Ray Cudney reported to the Madison County Buildings and Grounds Committee April 15 that the county's facilities are well-maintained despite approaching the outer limits of their life expectancies.

Hackett said Beardsley arrived at its conclusion based on department surveys and interviews conducted over the past several months. What the county will do now with the information is not set in stone.

The Department of Social Services probably has more space than it needs, Cudney said, because of how the space is configured.

"But there is no what of changing it because of the interrelated function of what's over there," Cudney said, reporting that Hackett pored over a building-by-building, floor-by-floor review of space utilization.

Supervisor Richard Williams (D -- Nelson), who chairs the buildings and grounds committee, said the space apportionment disparity concerns him.

"It sounds like the only people with adequate space are those in new buildings," Williams said. "This leaves the others confined in substandard space."

He said the county would have to gut a building and reconfigure the space to equalize allocations.

Buildings and Grounds Supervisor Kevin Loveless said every department has added personnel since they originally were assigned their respective spaces, and existing offices have been created by breaking up space that was originally adequate for its intended purpose.

As of press time, the Board of Elections was expected to receive four new voting machines, which will be housed -- at least temporarily -- in the Board of Supervisors' small conference room adjacent to their offices. According to Democratic Elections Commissioner Laura Costello, who spoke to members of the Administration and Oversight Committee Thursday, the remaining machines -- about 45 more -- are expected to arrive the first week in July, and permanent storage must be found for them before then.

Supervisor Richard O. Bargabos (R -- Smithfield, vice chairman of the board of supervisors) said the county is talking to representatives of the Wampsville Fire Department to explore purchasing the building at the Fireman's Field next door.

Williams said it probably makes the most sense to identify stress points where departments are maxed out and try to relieve those stress points.

"Then we can prioritize the problems and develop an order in which to address them," Williams said.

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