Ashley County taxpayers are now the owners of a property in Crossett that will serve as a courthouse annex.
The addition of the new building into the county inventory will not affect regular business at the courthouse in Hamburg.
Ashley County Judge Jim Hudson verified last week that the county had finalized the purchase of 303 Main St.
Ashley County Quorum Court had previously approved the transaction during its August meeting.
“We are not trying to move the courthouse,” Hudson said.
“We’re just trying to make it more convenient for residents of Ashley County.”
Hudson and the justices of the peace heard the details and features of the property at the meeting in which they voted to approve the purchase, and voted with the intention that part of the building will become new office space for the Ashley County assessor and tax collector.
Ashley County Assessor Beth Rush supplied the court with documents for that meeting outlining the property’s value as well as floor plans with potential uses.
One such use could come from the installation and implementation of a drive through window for making payments to offices located within the building.
Hudson explained that one of the benefits of the assessor and the tax collector having their own building will be that they will be able to operate by the county’s hours instead of the state’s hours.
Currently the assessor’s and tax collector’s offices — county offices — have a location inside the State Revenue Office at 209 Main St., in Crossett, which means if the state closes their offices for any reason, that location has to abide by those hours of operation as well.
Hudson said that this way, the residents of Ashley County could utilize the services provided by these offices without waiting unnecessarily.
The Office of Veteran’s Services will also have a representative in the building two or three times a week once everything is up and running, Hudson said.
He also said that at some point the county hopes to set up an office at 303 Main St., to serve those who have rural water and trash collection as well.
An added benefit of the newly purchased building is that it has more than one entrance, with a parking lot behind it and street parking in front.
Renovations that will be necessary before the county can open its offices there include making the building and its entrances ADA compliant to ensure ease of use for all residents.