Pasquotank County officials are moving the Pasquotank Public Defender’s Office across town.
County Manager Sparty Hammett presented county commissioners at their annual retreat last week with an updated plan that moves the Public Defender’s Office from the Pasquotank Courthouse to the Edgewood Center on Parkview Drive.
The county would then turn part of the new space in the courthouse into a meeting room for the Board of Commissioners while also giving additional space to the Pasquotank Clerk of the Court’s Office.
“It’s a really good space and it is accessible to the public,” Hammett said.
The new Public Defender’s Office would be in the county-owned space at the Edgewood Center that was leased to the DayBreak Adult Day Health Center.
Daybreak ceased operations last June and their lease expires at the end of this month.
The Edgewood Center property is 6,300 square feet. Hammett said the Public Defender’s Office only needs about 3,000 square feet. Hammett told commissioners that the additional space in the building will be utilized by Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools Support Services program.
“We will have some available space in that former DayBreak space,” Hammett said. “That (space) will meet their (ECPPS) support service’s needs.’’
Commissioners currently hold full board meetings in Courtroom C in the courthouse, but committee meetings are often held at the library or in the Public Safety Building because of conflicting schedules with the court.
Having a permanent meeting space will also allow the board to install “state-of-the-art” technology to livestream meetings, something the county didn’t do until the COVID-19 pandemic. The new boardroom would be about 1,500 square feet.
“As a result of COVID-19, the way that the country does business is changing,” Hammett said. “Virtual meetings will continue to be commonplace. First impressions mean everything. It is important to use reliable and advanced technology for conveying information to citizens and for economic development purposes.”
Hammett does not yet have a cost estimate for the moves but said the money would come from capital reserves.