By BRIAN GRAVES
The temporary move of courthouse offices after a disastrous fire should be completed by the middle of next week.That was the focus of the message sent by four of the county officials during a press …
The temporary move of courthouse offices after a disastrous fire should be completed by the middle of next week.
That was the focus of the message sent by four of the county officials during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Court Clerk Gayla Miller said the shifting of court locations and offices remains the same as previously announced; however, Chancery Court will now be at the Cleveland City Court instead of the Justice Center.
"This has been a very trying time for everyone, not just for the employees, but for all of the citizens of Bradley County," Miller said.
She praised Sheriff Eric Watson "for making everything work" when it came to moving much of the judicial workload into the Justice Center.
"I transported all of my clerks from the courthouse to the Judical Complex," Miller said. "We're a little crowded, but it's OK."
She noted there was court on Monday "and that was because of the city of Cleveland offering us their courtroom."
"My girls rock!" Miller said in praising her staff's work in ensuring a smooth transition to their temporary location.
Register of Deeds Dina Swafford noted her office would be moving to the old Professional Title building located at 217 Broad St., and will be sharing office space with the Veterans Services office.
The use of the building was donated by Broad Street United Methodist Church.
"Until we get in there and the internet is connected, we can't do a whole lot," Swafford said. "We are at the mercy of the internet service."
She said the computer technicians were on site Wednesday connecting their systems "and they may be up and running Friday."
"Until we get the internet running, we cannot take documents from anyone," Swafford said. "I will notify the title companies, the banks, the attorneys, and all parties that deal with us on a daily basis, and let them know when we are able to take documents."
Trustee Mike Smith said County Mayor D. Gary Davis has done "an outstanding job pulling all of this together."
The temporary location for Smith's office will be at the former SouthEast Bank building at the corner of Keith and 17th Streets.
"We are also in the process of getting our technology hooked up and I anticipate we will be in operation, maybe on a small scale, but in operation by the middle or end of next week," Smith said.
Smith said there will be signage placed in front of the building to make it easily identifiable.
"I also want to thank Dr. Linda Cash and Bradley County Schools," he added. "Every piece of furniture I have there right now has been donated by them for our use at no cost. Principal Ritchie Stevenson at Lake Forest also helped us with table and chairs as well as Principal Kyle Page from the GOAL Academy."
He said Ocoee Middle and Prospect Elementary schools have also offered their assistance.
"There has been a community effort to help all of us," Smith said. "We have all been getting calls saying, 'What do you need?' and 'How can we help?' We are very appreciative of that."
Davis noted County Clerk Donna Simpson's office will be located at the former FSG Bank branch at the Village Green on Keith Street.
"She will probably be up and running by the middle of next week," he said.
Davis said Simpson plans to use the drive-in windows to purchase car tag renewals.
"A lot of people came forward with opportunities and options to look at," Davis said. "We spent a couple of days trying to get everyone at one location. That didn't work out. We went immediately to these locations."
Davis also gave credit to Lee University and the Church of God for "donating a lot of furniture," as well as the help of Broad Street United Methodist Church.
"Thanks to a lot of people for their help and offers of help," Davis said. "If people will just bear with us for a few more days, we'll be up and running," Davis said.
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