Registrar plans to move

The Henson Building on West Street is named for a Louisa Girl Scouts leader. The county plans to move the registrar’s office there from the county office building.

The Louisa County Registrar’s office is planning to meet its growing space needs with a move into the Henson Building, a county-owned building in the town of Louisa. 

The move will include the registrar’s office itself, which occupies cramped quarters on the county office building’s first floor, and the election equipment currently stored in the Ogg Building on West Main Street.

“It’s clearly going to be a lot more space,” said Curtis Haymore, Louisa Electoral Board chairman. “We’ll have counter space and three cubicles for staff. The cubicles [put together] will be bigger than the entire current office. I think it will be more convenient for people when they come in.”

The Henson Building is on West Street, which is residential except for a funeral home and lumber business. The building was constructed in the 1950s as a home for the local Girl Scouts and later served as the county library and as a home or meeting place for other community organizations. Recently it has hosted some Louisa County Parks, Recreation and Tourism events, including yoga classes.

Donya Bauer, the yoga teacher, declined to comment on the proposed changes and where she would relocate. Jeff Ferrel, assistant county administrator, did not respond to questions by press time.

Besides greater space, another advantage of the Henson Building is that the registrar’s office will be able to set up its own security system, Haymore said. That’s increasingly important as state elections officials have issued more strict guidelines for protecting voting information. There are some disadvantages to having security networks in the same building as other county departments, he said.

The registrar’s office has two staff now, including Registrar Cris Watkins. Haymore said at least one more full-time person is needed, especially with a 45-day early voting period for general elections as the new normal.

A public hearing on the proposed relocation to the Henson Building is scheduled on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. at Louisa Town Hall, 212 Fredericksburg Avenue. It will be a joint hearing between the town’s planning commission and council. The county needs a special use permit, since the property is zoned residential.

For information about how to participate in the meeting or in person, contact the town at 540-967-1400 or see the legal advertisement on page nine of the Nov. 12 print edition of The Central Virginian.

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