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PUBLIC WEIGHS IN ON COURTHOUSE PLANS page 2
Fredericksburg's City Council is met with mixed reactions from public about courthouse proposals.

 Fredericksburg resident Rob Tanner makes comments about the design proposals.
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Date published: 5/18/2011

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He pointed out that the city has other things to consider for capital expenditures.

Former Councilman Matt Kelly said the council needs to consider the impact building a new courthouse will have on the rest of the city--not just the courts.

"It's almost like everybody has blinders on," he said.

Janine Stier of Browns Lane had similar comments.

"I want to see what this means in increased tax dollars and/or decreased services," she said.

She told the council what hasn't been talked about is what would be given up in order to build the new courthouse.

Others spoke about how they don't want the fire station moved from Princess Anne Street, which is the suggested site of many of the proposals.

Some said tearing down the Executive Plaza on Caroline Street would be ideal and tearing it down and putting a new courthouse there would kill two birds with one stone.

City staff and council members said they were pleased with the comments.

"It's a lot of what we expected to hear," Cameron said.

Having gone into the hearing with expectations for a small turnout, council members said they were happy city residents were engaged and interested enough to come.

"We're pleased at the quality and level of comments made," Councilman George Solley said.

Councilwoman Mary Katherine Greenlaw said she was pleased with the tone of the night and how carefully each person thought out his or her comments.

Councilman Fred Howe III, who has urged further study of the project, said he hopes the council will listen to the comments.

He said he was surprised there were few comments about the potential tax increase building a courthouse would cause, but said it's probably because numbers haven't been released yet.

The next step is for the City Council to discuss the issue at its work session May 24 and narrow down the eight proposals to a short list.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413
Email: rsidersky@freelancestar.com


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