Convenience centers to close

Published 8:11 am Thursday, July 18, 2019

In an effort to save the county money, beginning Aug. 3 the Charlotte County convenience centers will have new hours.

The Charlotte County Board of Supervisors voted in June during the adoption of the county’s budget to reduce the number of hours with implementation to begin July 1.

Supervisor Donna Fore, who represents the Phenix/ Aspen District, asked for the implemetation to be delayed so discussion could take place during the July 10 meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

During the June meeting, Fore voiced her opinion stating that she felt it was not good government to raise taxes and then cut services to the county’s citizens.

During the discussion, Chairman Garland Hamlett said that he had spoken with several of the convenience centers workers and noted that those workers said that they would “just rather close on Sundays.”

Supervisor Kay Pierantoni said that Fore made excellent points about raising taxes and cutting services but that, “the reality is if we don’t make cuts somewhere we are going to have to raise taxes even more.”

According to county staff, it is estimated that the county would save about $37,000 annually for each day of the week the seven centers were closed.

“We made a commitment to the citizens of the county to provide goods and services,” said Fore. “This is a service that we are declining support on.” Fore went on to say that she did not feel that the savings were enough to warrant the grief that citizens would undergo.

“We never determined what (citizens) were going to do on the days that their convenience centers were closed,” said Fore. She went on to say, “all we said is that we’re closing the centers, but we have not come up with another plan … This is a viable service to our citizens, and I am still opposed to this.”

Beginning Aug. 3, The Drakes Branch, Charlotte Court House, and Keysville Centers will be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Bacon/Saxe, Phenix, Madisonville and Wylliesburg centers will be closed on Mondays and Wednesdays.

‘The Sunday hours will either be 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. or 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.,” said County Administrator Daniel Witt.

Witt noted that he was waiting on more information from the County’s Public Works Director before making that final decision.

Starting in November and until March when daylight saving time begins, the centers will close at 6 p.m. rather than 7 p.m.