Veterans Service Office to move

Friday, November 23, 2007

Marshall County's Veterans Service Office will move to larger, remodeled offices early next year, county officials said.

Veterans Service Officer Billy Hill and his deputy, Rick Roberts, need more room and the veterans deserve more privacy, veterans committee Chairman Seth Warf said.

Veterans services will still be available in the Hardison Annex on College Street. The office that's been next to the Election Commission will be occupying space vacated by the ambulance service.

"To get that room ready we have to put some petitions in and some glass between cubicles and that high ceiling," Warf said. "We talked about dropping the ceiling down."

Because some of the heating and cooling units in the windows in that part of the building are more than 30 years old, the building committee recommended a new system and there's also to be duct work, Warf said.

The changes were endorsed recently during a joint meeting of county commissioners who are members of the veterans committee and the county commission's building committee.

Officials have noted that veterans waiting for an appointment with Hill or Roberts have frequently been seated in the hall of the old school.

"It's embarrassing that there's not much of a facility," Warf said. "We'll have a much nicer facility and the new location is closer to the door with the handicap access ramp."

As planned, the new office will have more secure storage, the commissioner said.

"Once all the bids are in, it shouldn't take real long," Warf said. He estimated the project could be completed in three to four months, adding, "It's not real complicated."

County officials have said better facilities have been needed for several years. Part of the commissioners' discussion with the service officer included his report on the economic impact of veterans' benefits here.

"Billy (Hill ) had reported that the veterans benefits are in the millions of dollars and there's a big impact on our community," Warf said. "Plus, when the ambulance service moved out, there was good timing."