I would like to offer some additional thoughts on the possible relocation of the Washington County Virginia Courthouse.

As indicated, it does appear that the current courthouse operations are lacking in proper space, but relocating it to the former Kmart property could have some adverse ramifications for the Town of Abingdon.

The site is currently vacant, but for an area that is poised to expand commercially, I would not see it unoccupied for very long. If the site were sold to Washington County, this would result in a huge loss of retail space for both the town and the county. There would be no more property tax or sales tax revenue from this site.

Also, what becomes of the current courthouse? Museum? Museums can bring in tourist dollars but often need to be heavily subsidized by the locality through tax revenues.

Abingdon is a tourist town, but it still takes retail and property tax revenue to maintain its infrastructure. The past and current Town Councils have done a good job of keeping the property tax rate unchanged for its citizens. Kudos to the current Town Council for maintaining this trend in the 2019-2020 budgets but continuing to lose retail space in the future will ultimately force a property tax increase in future years.

Best option I feel would be expansion of the current courthouse. If this is not possible, build a new courthouse. Design it for the present space requirements and for future needs. It is the costliest option, but better than a modified big box store that will be obsolete in 20 years. Courthouses should be and are a focal point in a community.

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