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Money well spent cleaning government buildings

On Jan 15, it was announced that the Chambers County Courthouse and the Lanett Annex were closing immediately and reopening on Feb. 1.

The closure, due to COVID-19 concerns should have been no surprise to anyone. Throughout the pandemic, the courthouse and annex have shut down for a couple of days here and there, but never for the current two week period.

On Monday, during the Chambers County Commission meeting, Attorney Skip McCoy announced the cost to clean both facilities totaled $19,000.

The cost for just the courthouse was $14,000. While that price tag might seem steep on paper, it is not all that high if you consider the building is 26,000 square feet. That cost calculates out to a mere $.5385 per square foot to clean and disinfect.

We have seen comments across social media that call this move a “waste of money,” a statement we wholeheartedly disagree with.

Although according to ADPH, Chambers County is at a ‘moderate risk” for infection, and as we are all aware, that can change in the blink of an eye. In the last 14 days, Chambers has added 426 more positive cases and is not far from 3,200 total cases.

We realize that the CDC says coronavirus on surfaces and objects naturally dies within hours to days, but the risk is not worth waiting it out and hoping all of the viruses dies before anyone re-enters the facility. It’s not just worth it in a facility that keeps the business of this community running.

The CDC also says the virus can live on human skin for up to nine hours. Would you risk letting it naturally die on your own hands or would you high tail it to the nearest washing station? We think most people would rush to wash their hands — no matter the cost.

With that in mind, we think it was money well spent to be able to provide some peace of mind to county workers and the public that do business in these buildings.

We applaud the swift and decisive action of courthouse staff and our county officials. The sense of urgency and the willingness to invest in the health of our community is appreciated.

There will be other opportunities to criticize our elected officials for their spending decisions, but this is not one of those