Courthouse needs repair, both major and minor

Published 7:53 pm Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Clerk of Court believes something needs to be done about the Beaufort County Courthouse.

Clerk of Court Marty Paramore spoke to the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners about the courthouse’s general deterioration at Monday night’s regular meeting, showing them photographs that point out the state of decay in various areas, from crumbling ceiling tiles and fluorescent lights without covers to peeling paint and rusted bathroom fixtures.

He also pointed out that decades of wear and tear has left courthouse furniture in just as much of a state of disrepair.

The presentation was an effort to make county officials aware of the issue and encourage a plan moving forward, as the courthouse sees many visitors on a daily basis, according to Paramore.

“Just as (with) any other building that 45 years old, there needs to be maintenance,” Paramore said.

While the state pays for technology associated with the courthouse, the upkeep is left to the county.

“I think the truth is that all of us are responsible for it. The courthouse belongs to all the people,” Paramore said.

County Manager Brian Alligood said in an interview last month that one of his goals for the county moving forward is to set up longterm maintenance plans for county buildings, so the county isn’t hit hard with major repairs because of lack of maintenance.

Board Chairman Jerry Langley, in his work as with Community Corrections, has been in and out of the courthouse for the past 34 years. He said while some repairs have been made, more have been put off.

“Everything that should have been done years ago is now facing us and we have nowhere to go but fix it,” Langley said, adding that the courthouse will be getting a partial new roof because a complete roof renovation was done incorrectly. “We need to start thinking long term and stop fixing things for right now.”

The 2016-17 manager’s recommended budget was presented to commissioners during the same meeting.