SPRINGFIELD — The symbolism, intended or not, was absolutely perfect.
Effingham County Board of Commissioners Chairman Wesley Corbitt cut a red ribbon during the Jan. 4 grand opening of the new Effingham County Administrative Complex (South Building). The color was ideal because the building was designed to trim the red tape of bureaucracy.
“The goal was essentially to create a one-stop shop, an administrative location where citizens can come in, get a business permit, can get a construction permit,” County Manager Tim Callanan said. “With the Department of Health, they can even get a permit for septic (service) all in one facility. It really was about making things easier.”
Development Services, Finance, Human Resources, Purchasing, County Clerk’s Office and administration departments have moved into the complex at 804 South Laurel St., as well as Georgia Department of Public Health’s Environmental Health Office.
“We made that all in one but we knew that will not be enough and so we have room for expansion as well to further facilitate the transactions that are done by our citizens in one location,” Callanan said.
The bulk of the county’s administrative personnel was previously housed at 601 N. Laurel St. in a former church in bought in 1995.
“It provided us with great service for a great many years but it was lacking in many technology features that are necessary for performing government and, quite frankly, to meet the expectations of our citizens,” Callanan said. “You will find the facilities here, with regards to the commission chambers — that will provide us a way to broadcast live in high definition.”
In addition, constituents will be able to listen to meetings by telephone thanks to system far superior to the one at the old chambers. They will also be able to communicate with the commission by telephone.
“We’ve also got a state-of-the-art training facility for our departments so that we can continue to add value to the people that are providing the services for our citizens,” Callanan said.
The Effingham County Board of Commissioners purchased the new building from Renasant Bank, which still occupies space on the north end. It will move, however.
“Our hope to put or tax commissioner and tax assessor here as well,” Callanan said.
The tax commissioner and tax assessor are currently housed at the Effingham County Annex at 901 N. Pine St.
The first commission meeting in its new home is set Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Callanan closed by saying that refurbishing the former bank former county use was more cost effective than building a new structure. He said the county will maximize the space “without requiring that many changes.”