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Commissioners, staff in Franklin Co. settling in to new offices

February 16, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Construction and remodeling crews still had much left to do, but the Franklin County Board of Commissioners last week moved their offices from the courthouse into the former M&T Bank building at 14 N. Main St.

"Our staff was actually there on Friday. My desk was brought in Friday morning," said Commissioner Bob Thomas. "Saturday morning I spent unpacking some of my boxes and trying to organize my files."

Thomas said many of the desks, filing cabinets and other furniture were moved by Franklin County Prison inmates, "and they did an excellent job."

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In late December, the commissioners signed a three-year lease with Foxx Hill LLC to lease part of the building for more than $112,000 a year, the commissioners said at the time. The deal includes an option to extend the lease, if necessary.

The drywall still was going up, wires and ventilation ducts were visible in the ceilings, and floors were bare in some of the rooms Thursday. Commissioner Cheryl Plummer said two meeting rooms were not yet completed, meaning the board likely will hold its first few public meetings in the county's Administrative Annex building on North Second Street.

The commissioners vacated their former suite of offices on the second floor of the Courthouse Annex on Lincoln Way East to make room for a fourth courtroom for Judge Carol Van Horn. When all four judges are present, Van Horn has to use a small hearing room and improvised chambers in the old courthouse.

The county last year awarded contracts for more than $300,000 to convert their former offices and the former office of County Controller Carol Fix Diller. Along with the courtroom, there will be a smaller hearing room, a holding area, the judge's chambers, and office space for a law clerk and clerical staff.

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