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Investments at courthouse create modern meeting place

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Editorial: Feb. 3, 2011

ISSUE: High-tech additions
OUR VIEW: New items are needed

In short order, the second phase of renovations have been completed for Fiscal Court’s meeting space in the H.B. Fife Courthouse.
Cabinetry, chairs, carpeting and cosmetic details were in place in time for December’s oath of office ceremonies and the return of an eight-member panel of magistrates. Barely a month later, the electronic components are in place.
This second step to revamp the third-floor chambers includes installation of a 19-inch standard computer monitor at the desk of each Fiscal Court member — a total of twelve monitors. Presentations from department heads and guests will flow to the work stations and make it simple for magistrates to store, retrieve and transport information.
Four 55-inch LCD wide-screen televisions were set up. Two hang behind the court’s work table for use by the audience while the other two were placed behind the audience in view of court members.
To enhance service to the public through HCEC-TV’s taping of the proceedings, video transmission and reception equipment will be installed as well as three wall-mounted, remote-controlled cameras to capture the various speakers.
Judge-Executive Harry Berry accurately accessed the value of the new technology when he said, “It will move the court into the 21st century.”
And it’s all been done for less than $50,000. The tight budget was possible with inmate labor from the Hardin County Detention Center handling demolition, carpentry and installation.
These improvements and investments make for an attractive and innovative setting for meetings. Ways have been found to accomplish the public’s business comfortably and adequately downtown. County government is making the most of a historically important centerpiece of downtown Elizabethtown, which most of us also regard as downtown Hardin County.
With no apologies for repeating this sentiment: The work supports the view of many who favor maintaining the residence of county government on the Public Square.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.