There’s a lot of moving going on in downtown Hinesville.
During Thursday’s Liberty County Commission meeting, County Administrator Joey Brown announced that the new Liberty County Justice Center, at 201 S. Main St., will open in early May, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 14.
“All those plans are under way now,” Brown said of the 10 a.m. Saturday ceremony, which is open to the public.
As of Friday, all the furniture had been moved into the justice center, but it still is non-operational, Assistant Administrator Bob Sprinkel said.
“It’s going very well, actually. I’m the guy in charge of moving everybody,” Sprinkel said. “Next Friday and Saturday is our big-push move.”
The state, juvenile and magistrate courts of Liberty County and the office of the clerk of superior court will move into the justice center Friday and will be closed to the public during the move, according to a news release from Barry Wilkes, Liberty County clerk of the court.
Residents looking for paper copies of deed books from number 372 forward will have to access the files online during the moving days.
“We appreciate your patience and understanding during this exciting period in our history. We anticipate being back to business as usual on May 2, albeit in a facility that greatly enhances our delivery of services,” Wilkes said in the release.
Sprinkel said the move has been anything but easy, especially after trying to get offices cleaned up after some employees have been in one location for 20 years.
“It’s not a move that can be done with the snapping of your fingers; it takes a little time to do that. It takes coordination and all the offices have just been dreams to work with. They are so cooperative,” Sprinkel said. “Liberty County is going to be proud of what we’re moving into and we do hope that everyone is going to be able to come out on May 14.”
Offices are expected to open to the public May 2 for the first time and will be fully operational.
“Department heads will show what the 1-cent sales tax has given the citizens of Liberty County on May 14. The county should be proud of what’s been built. It is gorgeous. I think it’s money well-spent. They can be proud of it,” Sprinkel said. “Every time I walk in there, I’m just so proud of it. And I want the public to see what I see.”
In other meeting news:
• Wade Sansbury, partner with Mauldin & Jenkins, Certified Public Accountants LLC, briefly made remarks about the audit performed by its company of Liberty County’s finances.
“I want to just remind everyone that these financial statements are the responsibility and representation of the management. Our responsibility was to perform an audit and express an opinion based on that audit,” Sansbury told the commissioners. “As of the end of the year, the county had total assets of approximately 149 million.”
Sansbury also said the county had an increase in total net assets of about $1.3 million, “which is a very good, strong result of operations for the year” and that the general fund balance was under $14 million.