Good move in Chester

The Chester County Council apparently made a wise choice this week when it voted to spend $1.4 million to buy a new county office building.

Council members agreed to buy a 29,580-square-foot facility on the J.A Cochran By-Pass that's now owned by Omnova Solutions. The plan is to shift nearly all of the county's offices out of downtown Chester.

The move will allow county residents to enjoy "one-stop shopping" as they maneuver among various county departments. All offices housed at the Chester County Courthouse will be moved, except for the clerk of court's office.

We share Councilman Alex Olphant's concern about moving the offices out of downtown. We're sure county residents would be well-served by a new office building downtown, which Olphant said he prefers.

But we also believe residents would rather forego a new building's much higher price tag, even if means driving out to the former Omnova building.

In the end, Oliphant joined all other council members in supporting the purchase.

Because the county plans to issue general obligation bonds to buy the building, it must approve the plan two more times and hold a public hearing. The public hearing is scheduled for July 16.

Overall, the County Council plans to borrow up to $3 million, with the extra money going towards police cars and computers.

This week, County Supervisor Carlisle Roddey praised the council's clerk, Carolyn Clayton-Snipes, for suggesting the Omnova building purchase.

She was wise to suggest it, and the council was smart to go along.