Buncombe Commissioners will move offices, meeting space

Facing a space crunch in the overcrowded courthouse, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will move both its offices and meeting spot down the street beginning in April, according to a release from the county today.

“Due to the growing needs of the Court system and their desperate need for more space, the Buncombe County Commissioners have decided to give up their offices in the Courthouse,” the release reads. “This move will downsize their office space, reduce their staff by one person and combine their offices with those in County Administration at 205 College Street.”

Meanwhile, the board will move its bi-monthly meetings to 30 Valley St., a site currently used for meetings of the county Planning Board, beginning with its April 7 meeting. The current meeting spot, in Room 204, will be turned over to full-time use by the courts.

The board has met in the courthouse since it was built in 1927.

The full release is below.

— David Forbes, staff writer

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Due to the growing needs of the Court system and their desperate need for more space, the Buncombe County Commissioners have decided to give up their offices in the Courthouse.  This move will downsize their office space, reduce their staff by one person and combine their offices with those in County Administration at 205 College Street.

In another move they will give up their Commissioners Chambers on the second floor of the Courthouse to full time courtroom space.

Their new Commission Chambers will be located at 30 Valley Street in the space originally created for Planning Board meetings.  This space will become the permanent meeting place for the Board beginning with their first meeting in April— April 7 at 4:30 p.m.

This is an historical moment for the Board of Commissioners who have held office space and met in the Courthouse since it was constructed in 1927.  “It makes me sad to leave but it truly is the right thing to do”, said County Commissioner Carol Peterson whose parents both worked in the Courthouse. 

Commissioner Bill Stanley who has been a Commissioner for 20 years said that “Our court system needs this space and we can be just as accessible to the public if not more so at 205 College.  I think the Commissioners belong in the Courthouse but these are challenging times and we have to make changes to best accommodate the needs of the public.”

County Commission Chairman David Gantt said “This Board is dedicated to finding creative solutions to court overcrowding and this was a way to meet our legal requirement to provide adequate court space and facilities for our judges, clerks and court staff.  The Commission appreciates the partnership with the court leadership as we try to balance costs, space and facility usage needs.  This move continues access to citizens and makes the Commissioners’ meetings just as accessible to the public.”

Buncombe County Chief District Court Judge Gary Cash praised the Board for freeing up this space, stating that “with the dire need for offices, courtroom and conference room space, this is a wonderful move that will help us better serve the citizens of the County.” 

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