SNOW HILL – Officials approved plans for a new Worcester County Treasurer’s Office location within the Ocean Pines library.
The Worcester County Commissioners this week voted 6-0 to spend slightly more than $7,000 refitting a small computer room at the Ocean Pines branch of the Worcester County Library to serve as a replacement for the Worcester County Treasurer’s Office location in the county’s Isle of Wight facility.
“We still need to maintain an operation and a presence in the northern portion of the county for the treasurer’s office, simply because many people like to pay their tax bill, pick up their permits, renew their driver’s license, etc. at that facility,” Finance Officer Phil Thompson said.
Thompson said staff had been seeking an alternate site for the Isle of Wight office for some time, as the building was aging and had mechanical, access and telecommunications issues. He pointed out that the departments of environmental programs and development review and permitting had already vacated the building.
“The ensuing search led us to the Ocean Pines library,” he said. “They seemed to check all of the concerns off the list, if you will, in that the access is vastly improved at that location, good internet service, good phone service and I think simply strength in numbers as we will be a component of the Ocean Pines library that will considerably improve the security environment we work in.”
He said library staff had identified a 200 square foot computer room within the 15,000 square foot library that had not been used much in recent years.
“We’re going to be a very small portion of the library,” Thompson said.
Commissioner Jim Bunting asked what would happen to the Isle of Wight space once the treasurer’s office moved to Ocean Pines.
Chief Administrative Officer Harold Higgins said the Worcester County Health Department, which still occupies part of the Isle of Wight facility, had asked to take over the space. The building, he confirmed, was owned by the county. When Bunting asked if the county received revenue from the health department for using the space, Higgins said he wasn’t sure. He said that as far as expenditures, however, things like the electric bill were split between the departments using the building.
“It’s a county owned piece of property,” Bunting said. “We own the building. We’re going to move and incur a little bit of cost, are we going to have any revenues from that building?”
Higgins said he would check.
“I think we should,” Bunting said.
Following the commissioners’ approval of the new location, staff said the treasurer’s office was expected to be set up in the library by the end of February.