CIRCLEVILLE — The Pickaway County Commissioners have presented a plan to relocate the Pickaway County Auditor, Treasurer and Recorder’s offices from the Pickaway County Courthouse to the Pickaway County Service Center located on Island Road.

The three offices, which work closely together would each occupy a portion of the northern section of the first floor in space that is currently in use by the Pickaway County Park District and RHFP Solid Waste District, as well some vacant space in the building. Prior to the opening of their renovated space, Pickaway County Jobs and Family Service was located in that building.

“Off and on, we’ve talked about moving some things out and around the courthouse,” Jay Wippel, commissioner, stated. “We want it to be more of a justice center. There’s a lot of things that have happened in the last six months and we’ve had some different discussions over time about this.”

The plan would keep all three offices, which work very close together and under the same roof, as they are now at the courthouse but moving them there allows the court system to expand as the county grows in the future.

“With that added in, we thought this would be a great space [for the offices] for many reasons,” he explained. “I know there are pros and cons to everything we do.”

Wippel said he and Ellery Elick, Pickaway County Treasurer, have had discussions about a drive through window for their office for years and the move would allow that to happen. Another advantage is better parking.

“We can do that so grandma doesn’t have to climb the steps and go through security,” he told The Herald. “That would be a big benefit to the new site.”

Brian Stewart, commissioner, said it’s more space for the offices and spaces that can be better utilized.

“[The recorder’s office] would have about 1,000 square feet of more space and [The treasurer’s office] would have slightly less space but it would be more efficient space.”

Elick said he had two major concerns with the move: a reduction in space to his office and the lack of security, especially when they have large amounts of payments on hand.

“Right now, the guards are right outside the door,” he mentioned. “If we’re robbed, who’s going to respond to that. We have it now and with the two deputies out there and within a split second they can be right there.”

Wippel said additional security measures could be put in place to help alleviate those concerns, such as security doors and cameras.

Melissa Betz, Pickaway County Auditor, said she was in favor of the move once a few logistical issues were worked out.

The commissioners acknowledged that the area could be renovated to some degree to make the space more usable and efficient for the offices.

“As far as a floor plan goes, if you look at it and think it’s good then that’s great, but if there are modifications, that make it more palatable, let’s do it,” Stewart said.

“I’m not saying start from scratch, but if we want to make two spaces into one, we can do that within reason of not going down to the studs. We assume some of that will be needed.”

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