September 3rd , 2013 10:00 am Leave a comment

Officials say courthouse facing records ‘crunch’

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The condition of the third floor at the Carter County Courthouse has become so distressing that one local judge refuses to hold court there until the problem is fixed.

Photo by Brandon HicksCounty Mayor Leon Humphrey stands next to a shelf of records in one of the offices on the third floor of the Carter County Courthouse.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
County Mayor Leon Humphrey stands next to a shelf of records in one of the offices on the third floor of the Carter County Courthouse.

“What we have is a situation where, through the years, especially in the judge’s chambers and the witness room, we’ve got a major deflection of the floor system,” said County Mayor Leon Humphrey. “There are some doorways that have dropped as much as 1/2-inch over time because of the superimposed loading of the floor. It’s causing a problem.”

For years, the vacant offices on the courthouse’s top floor have served as storage areas for records and files from the courthouse offices, as well as the filing cabinets and bins that store them.

“This does not limit itself just to that area,” Humphrey said. “All those office spaces on the third floor that are not being used, for whatever reason … the officeholders have elected to put a tremendous amount of materials in there. The floor system area is not designed to support those types of loads.”

County Commissioner L.C. Tester, who chairs the county’s Building and Grounds Committee, confirmed Humphrey’s assessment, saying that the building’s structural stability has been affected by the records.

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