By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Commissioners discuss storage shortage
county storage issues.jpg
Clerk and Master Myra Mara has to climb a ladder in order to access some of the records at Warren County Courthouse, an action the county safety coordinator says is creating safety concerns. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

A longstanding issue facing Warren County government might soon be addressed -- too much paperwork and too little storage.

The county Building and Grounds Committee met to consider lack of storage at Warren County Administrative Offices and Warren County Courthouse. 

“We’ve run into this problem many times in the past and we need to do something about it,” said Commissioner Carl E. Bouldin.

Members were presented with a statement from Warren County safety coordinator David Britton urging something be done to correct storage issues at the courthouse, including one that creates safety concerns.

“The record storage area designated to serve both sides of the main hallway at the Warren County Courthouse has multiple issues we need to address from a loss control perspective,” said Britton. “Our county employees face high risk from ergonomic hazards of individual record books weighing 20 to 25 pounds each and full boxes of records weighting 35 to 40 pounds each.”

Britton added, “Employees work at chest- to overhead-reach levels, as well as the same reach levels while standing on a step ladder. Employees hand boxes down to co-workers at floor level which then places two employees at risk.”

Books and boxes are being stacked and the weight is causing several sections of shelves to bend.

“After reviewing the courthouse, there seems to be underutilized space and a better layout is quite possible,” said Britton. “The changes could affect multiple departments, but I think it is accomplishable.” 

County Executive Jimmy Haley suggested renting off-site storage for paperwork the county is required to keep a hardcopy of and a second option for those the county is not.

“There are documents that the county is required to keep hardcopies of and documents that we do not,” said Haley. “We could purchase a scanner and hire a part-time person whose job will be to scan documents, the ones the county is not required to keep hardcopies on, into the computer so they can be stored online and the hardcopy destroyed.”

Cost of rental space is unknown. However, Haley said, the space must be climate controlled, secured and be equipped with a sprinkler system. 

Bouldin suggested constructing a storage building on the old tennis court located beside the administrative building and currently being used for parking. 

“I feel like we could build something,” said Bouldin. “It would be cheaper in the long run because it would be ours. If you rent, that payment is due every month and it never goes away.”

Haley contended that parking is already limited, construction of any kind could take up to a year, and the cost of a suitable storage building could be costly – offering an estimate of $380,000 by Upland Design Group on a proposed storage building at the jail.

Building and Grounds Committee members approved Haley acquiring pricing on rental costs and bringing that information back to committee for consideration and also approved asking the county Budget and Finance Committee to consider construction of a storage building.