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Hancock court activity put on hold after fire

All county business that took place at the Hancock County courthouse is "at a standstill" for the second day, says Hancock County Commissioner Steve Hill.

Early Monday morning, a fire tore through the courthouse destroying everything inside.

"A lot of workmanship, gone," Hill said.

Hill says people who have to pay water bills, want to register to vote or are due in court have nowhere to go.

"I had a case pending where someone had tried to steal something from the store here and I was fitting to be there Monday morning so I guess that guy got a break," he said.

But he says they'll likely have a grace period for those who tried to pay their bills on time and couldn't because of the fire.

The building was also where the county payroll was put together.

County clerk Broderick Foster says employees will still be paid.

The county tentatively agreed Tuesday to lease a space at the Sparta branch of the Oconee Fall Line Technical College.

The deal isn't final but they expect to pay $1 a year plus utilities.

Hill says it was formerly home to the National Guard Armory.

Hill says it will take time to get things back in order because most county records, books and equipment are gone.

"I glanced through the clerk's office yesterday afternoon and saw remnants of the books. I don't know if they're charred beyond use or not," he said.

County commissioners are scheduled to meet tomorrow at 4 p.m. to vote on a resolution to lease space at the college and to set the millage rate for this fiscal year.

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