Courthouse annex opens in McDowell

Ralph B. Davis rdavis@civitasmedia.com

October 16, 2013

McDOWELL — A crowd gathered Friday at the official opening of the new Floyd County Courthouse Annex, as local officials hailed the new offices as a way to provide better service and more convenience for residents of southern Floyd County.

County Attorney Keith Bartley gave opening remarks prior to a ribbon-cutting, giving credit to officials who helped make the building a reality. Included in his list of credits were House Speaker Greg Stumbo and state Sen. Johnny Ray Turner, who Bartley said helped get the money for the project, as well as county magistrates who approved the building, he said, “in the face of stiff opposition.”

Notably absent from the event was County Judge-Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall, who, as the project neared completion, came out against the project over concerns about its cost. But Marshall was not far from the county attorney’s mind. Bartley called Marshall’s opposition to the project “the biggest flip-flop in Floyd County history.”

Contacted Tuesday, Marshall said he did not want to address Bartley’s comment, but did note that he arrived at his opposition to the annex after considering project’s cost, the floundering Eastern Kentucky economy, and the fiscal court’s own financial woes. As magistrates continued to move the project forward, Marshall chose to back up his stance by refusing to have an office in the complex.

“I felt with the economic conditions, I could do a small part to help by not having an office there,” Marshall said. “My office is in Prestonsburg, Ky., not in McDowell.”

Bartley said the new facility will offer greater convenience to residents of not only Left Beaver, but also Right Beaver and Mud Creek, who might find themselves a shorter drive to McDowell instead of Prestonsburg, especially as Route 680 nears completion.

The building offers satellite offices for the county clerk, sheriff, county attorney and property valuation administrator. In addition, the circuit clerk’s office will have driver licensing hours at the office on Mondays and Fridays, and Bartley plans to add a child support office in the building in the near future.