Dear Members and Friends,
Can you imagine the Augusta County Courthouse abandoned and its windows covered with plywood? This could happen if the Augusta County Board of Supervisors and Staunton City Council cannot come to terms on what portion of the cost of bringing it up to 21st Century standards each should pay.
The city is justifiably reluctant to invest the amount the county has requested in a building that they do not own. If together they do not find a solution, the county has scheduled a November referendum in which Augusta County residents can decide whether or not they want to pay for the more expensive course of building a new court complex in Verona. If they say yes, there is no reprieve.
The Augusta County Bar Association has proposed that the courts of the city and the county consolidate. It would be a permanent solution to the courthouse issue and would give the city a reason to invest more than the $1.5 million upwards that would be offset by tax credits.
NOW is the time to make your voice heard in support of the values that inspired you to become a HSF member. Staunton City Council meets this Thursday, May 28th at 5:30pm, and the Augusta County Board of Supervisors meets this Wednesday, May 27th at 7:00pm. PLEASE contact your city council or board of supervisors members BEFORE these meetings to let them know that you want the courthouse to be updated and to remain in use at its current location, and that you support court consolidation as a means to that end. Below is contact information for members of both bodies.
Please visit HSF’s Supporting Rehabilitation of the Augusta County Courthouse page for more information on why it is feasible, economical, sustainable and mutually beneficial to both Augusta County and Staunton to keep our historic courthouse.
Paula Rau, President
Frank Strassler, Executive Director