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6-25-08 The Oconee County Courthouse should stay on Square in Watkinsville Part 2

There is land available (at least 11 acres) adjacent to the Courthouse Parking Lot that consists of most of the next city block north of the courthouse parking lot.

AVOC

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June 24, 2008

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The Oconee County Courthouse should stay on Square in Watkinsville – Part 2

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By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

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Recent media articles have dealt with the need for space at the Courthouse and helped publicize secret plans to move the courthouse.    There is space available and a parking deck can be built to accommodate parking.

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Citizens are ridiculing the idea of moving the courthouse.Apparently, Commissioner Norris (who advocated the move in his announcement) has said no in a recent forum when asked about the relocation.   A little Sunshine or Open Government can influence County Affairs!    However, if the majority is re-elected, we can expect the matter to rear its head.  See 12-7-07 Madison Retreat Minutes    (Note Library Expansion Item too).

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The commissioners have talked about cost of land near the courthouse being high.    However, they did not hesitate to spend $ 10-12 Million on a new jail; $ 12- ? Million on the Park that was $ 2 Million over budget at last report.    They have also spent $ 6 Million on Right of Way for the Oconee Connector.   The county has a large surplus.   The whole thing involves priorities and a lack of appreciation for history and tradition in our community.

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There is available land (at least 11 acres) adjacent to the Courthouse Parking Lot thatconsists of most of the next city block north of the courthouse parking lot.


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Oconee County Courthouse is Historic Structure and the site was once the Clarke County Courthouse site until the counties split in 1875.

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10-27-05 ‘This’ and ‘That’ in Oconee County & Historic Eagle Tavern

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County Passes on Land Acreage Opportunities Adjacent to Oconee Courthouse Complex?

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October 26, 2005

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Courthouse Complex- Red Dots Indicate Courthouse and Residences of Deceased Owners -Estates Own Water St Frontage

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In the last couple of years, two long-time residents of the Water Street –Courthouse area have died.Their estates have signs indicating real estate is for sale.The two estates own all the frontage on Water Street from the Courthouse to Durham St behind Oconee State Bank.AVOC has been told that the County has declined to buy the properties.

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AVOC understands there is close to 9 to 12 acres in the two tracts.The County badly needs more space around the courthouse.A courthouse has to be located in the County Seat by law- in the City of Watkinsville.As one who diligently looked for a Fire Station lot and other facilities for a number of years, I know that the availability of land is rare – almost a generational thing.

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The County should buy this land.It is and will be needed.I do not know if the County is too much committed financially on the New Park and the New Jail, or someone thinks they will just go outside town and build a ‘big complex”.   That is bad either way.

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Investment in this land will serve the county a lot longer than the New Jail (some near future Sheriff will want to replace the new one) and New Ball-fields.

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There needs to be more vision and longer range planning and thinking on the part of the County Commissioners.


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Two Booth Tracts

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1.         W_05_039 – Water and Third St.4.1 Acres

2.         W_05_055 – Residence Lot on Water St

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Booth Residence across from the Old Jail – For Sale

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Two Christopher Tracts

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Christopher Tract on Water St

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1.         W_05_038 - Residence at Corner of Water & Durham Sts

2.         W_05_040 - 4.05 Acres on Durham St

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Roush-Marable Tract

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1.         W_05_054 - 1.94 Acres

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This tract is adjacent to Courthouse Parking Lot and has been leased by the county.


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