Hanover saving money moving county offices

MECHANICSVILLE, VA (WWBT) - Government spending is a hot political issue and Hanover County has found a new way to save money.

It's moving many of its government offices.

The county is moving many of its offices from rented or leased spaces to county-owned property.

Seven offices have moved in the past few months, bringing about a savings of more than $250,000.

Real estate prices are low, so the county is trying to buy space now so it won't have to rent property later.

Employees are still moving boxes and decorating the walls of their offices at the new home for Social and Community Services in Mechanicsville.

Hanover County recently bought this office space and Tuesday it opened its doors for the first time.

Tim Slaven runs Hanover County's Community Services. He says the struggling real estate market made now a good time to stop renting space and start owning.

"With times being difficult, as many people know, it's an opportunity to purchase property at a reasonable rate," Slaven said.

Community Services used to rent seven offices, but now it only rents two -- saving nearly $300,000.

"The savings will be spread over the years," he said.  "As with any individual, over the long run, owning a home is more economical than renting."

Sheila Crossen-Powell runs Hanover Social Services and is also moving into this new office off Bell Creek Road.

She used to work in Ashland but over half the people that came to her for help with food stamps and child care services live in the Mechanicsville area, making it a no-brainer to move closer to the people she's trying to help.

"It's a win-win situation for our customers," she said.  "Transportation is a huge issue for them obviously if they're requiring services and so we thought this was the perfect opportunity for us to become much more accessible to our clients."

Hanover County also moved its economic development offices into a new building in the Rutland area.

County leaders are hoping to move a few more offices but say which ones they might move has not been set in stone.

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