IW supervisors vote to move meetings to courthouse

Published 11:16 am Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Isle of Wight County supervisors will move their regular meeting location to the Young-Laine Courts Building starting March 21.

The supervisors cited elevator issues as their reason for temporarily pulling out of the circa-1800 former courthouse at Monument Circle that’s served as the board’s meeting place for decades.

When the Young-Laine building was built in 2010 at 17000 Josiah Parker Circle as the county’s new courthouse, the board continued to meet monthly in the former courtroom on the second floor of the old one, which is now known as the Robert C. Claud Sr. Boardroom in honor of a former supervisor.

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According to county officials, the elevator that facilitates handicap access to the second floor of the circa-1800 building as required under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act has been out of order for several months. Repairs have been delayed due to waiting on the manufacture of the needed parts and may wait until June or July, Jones said.

The supervisors’ March 7 resolution specifies the meeting place, starting March 21 and continuing until further notice, will be the General District courtroom, which is located on the first floor of the Young-Laine Courts Building.

Jones said other boards that meet in the second-floor boardroom, such as the county’s Planning Commission, may also have to move, though the 10-member advisory body would need to vote separately from the supervisors to do so. In some cases, if a body was meeting with only one or two applicants who needed accommodations, the body could potentially stay in the circa-1800 building and meet in a smaller first-floor conference room.

Several years ago, the Robert C. Claud Sr. Boardroom was fitted with cameras to facilitate the livestreaming and recording of meetings. Assistant County Administrator Don Robertson said the county intends to continue livestreaming and making after-the-fact recordings available online while the supervisors are meeting at the courthouse.

“We are attempting to make the temporary relocation as seamless as possible,” Robertson said.

Robertson said at this time he doesn’t anticipate attendees will be asked to pass through the metal detector at the entrance to the Young-Laine Courts Building if attending a Board of Supervisors or Planning Commission meeting when court isn’t in session. Attendees should also be able to keep their cellphones despite the courthouse’s prohibition on bringing them into the building during court hours.