Robert Dalton at SHJ reports:

A majority of Spartanburg County Council members said Monday they plan to support building a new courthouse and joint city-county government facility.

Those buildings are among six new public facilities that Justice Planning Associates studied for the city and county of Spartanburg. The total project is estimated to cost $216.8 million.

Spartanburg County Administrator Katherine O’Neill told council members Monday that consultants met with teams of county employees to determine if the plan should be revised before a final draft is presented. The final report will be presented to County Council on May 22 with the latest numbers and recommendations.

The new facilities would replace outdated buildings used for city and county government offices. The Spartanburg County Courthouse has been plagued by mold problems for the past year; several offices were forced to relocate Friday after the latest discovery of mold.

County Council has until Aug. 15 to decide whether to place a referendum on the November ballot asking voters to fund the project.

I so appreciate Councilman Roger Nutt who has been very out front of this issue for years, speaking at our tea party meetings and others, engaging in long dialogues on his Facebook page, and doing media interviews, answering the tough questions.

Councilman Justin Bradley has also made himself available to our meeting attendees and has been very  helpful.

County Councilman Justin Bradley said he believed building a joint facility would save $20 million in construction costs since there wouldn’t be any duplication in the process.

“There is nothing alarming about it,” Bradley said. “I get asked a lot why didn’t we do all of this earlier. We are in a good position to take care of it.”

Tax increase.  Usually two words the tea party does not look on with favor, but in this case, and without going back over a 20? 30? year history of “why didn’t you …” – we are HERE NOW.  And I can get behind this limited and specifically designated penny tax because at the Courthouse, and in the offices of our county and city servants, the work of core government services is being handled.  That is an appropriate allocation of the people’s money.

Stay up on this issue, we will likely vote on it in November.