CIRCLEVILLE — In the wake of Pickaway County Jobs and Family Services relocating to South Pickaway Street, the county’s Island Road office location now has three new tenants.
Judge Mike Hess, elected to the Ohio 4th District Court of Appeals in November, has moved his office into the south end of the building following minor modifications and security upgrades. Judge Roger Kline was the last appeals court judge to hold office in Pickaway County, working out of what is today the Pickaway County Engineer’s Office on West Franklin Street.
Hess said the space, renovated for $48,000 split among the 14 counties that fall within his jurisdiction, fits what he needs for an office.
“[The commissioners] were very accommodating to what we needed,” he said. “It works really well. We have ample parking and we have no complaints.”
Hess said the office rents the space since expenses are split among the 14 counties the court operates, though he could have chosen anywhere in the district. He previously had a private practice in Circleville but the previous office for his seat on the fourth district was in Chillicothe.
“Pickaway County is my home, it’s where I had my business,” he said. “It’s where I wanted to be.”
Hess said he spends more time in his office as a judge than he did when he was an attorney.
“When I was a practicing attorney I was in court every day and meeting clients and running around central Ohio representing individuals,” he said. “Most of my day now is comprised of sitting in my office reading and researching cases. We do a little bit of travel for oral arguments but when we’re not hearing arguments we’re sitting and reviewing files.”
In addition to Hess’s office, the Pickaway County Parks District and Ross, Pickaway, Highland, Fairfield Solid Waste District also joined in the move. The parks and solid waste districts each share space on the north side of the first floor.
Tom Davis, executive director for the Pickaway County Parks District, said he likes the new office.
“It’s not much more space but it has better office configurations and adequate, easy parking for staff and guests,” he said. “We have windows and it’s nice for us parks folks to know what it’s like outside. We’re appreciative for the opportunity the commissioners gave us.”
Erica Tucker, director of the RPHF Solid Waste District said the move has been great.
“We like being here, we feel it’s fit us better as a department,” she said. “There is more room for us, with room to grow as well. We are currently awaiting a quote on new flooring for the old waiting room area. Our future plan involves an environmental education room there.”
Tucker said the space at the Pickaway County Annex was nice but now collaboration is easier.
“A lot of partnering we do, are with the departments we are now under one roof with,” she said.