Efforts are currently underway to relocate the General Registrar’s Office and the Cooperative Extension Offices which are currently located on Main Street across from the courthouse. It is proposed to move the General Registrar to county offices at 20 Fairground Street in Bland and Cooperative Extension will move to a new location at 144 Seddon Street in Bland.
“The current building in which these offices are located has various maintenance issues along with parking and handicap accessibility concerns”, stated Eric Workman, County Administrator. “The Board of Supervisors and county staff have been working on this issue for over a year. The challenge was to find a solution for better office space as well as create additional parking around the Courthouse square. Various options have been explored, such as possible renovation of the existing building, tearing down and building new, and renovating existing county structures.”
Recently, Bland County acquired additional office space at 144 Seddon Street, a former doctor’s office, to relocate the Cooperative Extension offices. The acquisition is a five year lease to own at $30,000 per year, totaling $150,000. “Financially, acquiring the additional office space was the lowest cost option for the Board of Supervisors. All the other options analyzed were considerably more expensive,” continued Eric Workman.
County staff, along with assistance from inmate labor from the New River Valley Regional Jail, is currently working on the new offices with painting and getting everything ready for the Cooperative Extension Offices to relocate in the next few weeks. “I cannot give enough praise and gratitude to Officer Dobbins and the people at the New River Valley Regional Jail. They provide a lot of assistance to the county on projects, and on this project have helped by painting the interior and with the move,” stated Eric Workman. No official open date of the new Cooperative Extension Office space has been set at this time. County officials hope to have everything moved into the new space and operational on or before March 1st.
The Office of the General Registrar is proposed to relocate to existing county offices located at 20 Fairground Street. This space is directly across from the southern side of the courthouse. Since the Office of the General Registrar is also an absentee voting precinct, its location is established by county ordinance. The Board of Supervisors plan to hold a public hearing for the amending of the county ordinance in association with the location of that office. While no official action has yet been taken by the Board of Supervisors on the current Main Street county office location that currently houses the Cooperative Extension Office and Office of the General Registrar, it is proposed that structure be demolished to make way for additional parking.