WASHINGTON — The old county highway garage on S.E. Third Street was deemed unsuitable for file storage Monday and the Daviess County Commissioners said something has to be done to solve the county’s space issues.
“It’s time to do something,” Commissioner Tony Wichman said.
The decision came after Clerk Sherri Healy informed the commissioners bats have now been found at the garage, including one deceased bat in a file storage box.
“I will not allow any of my staff to go back there,” Healy said.
Healy said the bats were also found by staff of the Prosecutor’s office. The clerk, prosecutor, recorder and auditor are all required to keep records that are kept in the garage because, due to space, they cannot be kept in the courthouse.
In March, Healy told the commissioners of a recurring issue with spiders at the garage and made their way to the courthouse. Although the garage and courthouse were sprayed, Healy said the spiders have returned.
Commissioners then directed Healy to find storage space, around 4,000 to 6,000 square feet, for the files to be stored.
“Let’s get after it and find a place,” Wichman said.
But while the storage will be a short-term solution, commissioners agreed something has to be done to either build or renovate a building for county offices. Currently, the health department, Purdue Extension, Adult Protective Services and the information technology department are being housed in remodeled homes near the courthouse.
“We don’t need a Taj Mahal, we need an efficient, effective building to build,” Wichman said.
Wichman went on to say a bank on Main Street that is soon to be vacated would not be a suitable place to relocate as well due to aging internals.
The commissioner said that after looking at financials, there might not be much to build with currently due to continued payments for the Daviess County Security Center and other bonds.