CHIPLEY ? After nearly a year of being forced out of their buildings due to major damage from flooding caused by Hurricane Sally, only two of five public offices have moved back into respective buildings.
The Washington County Library Chipley Branch, Chipley Police Department, and Chipley Fire Department are all still waiting to move back in their renovated buildings.
Meanwhile, Washington County Agriculture Center reopened at the end of June, and Chipley City Hall reopened April 30. City Administrator Dan Miner says while it is good to be back, it is still a work in progress. “We are very happy to be back in our building but just like with any move, we are still getting our house in order,” said Miner.
The Chipley Police Department and the Chipley Fire Department have been working out of 1138 Main Street since the flooding.
Police Chief Scott Thompson says the move back has proven to be slower going than anticipated. “We have some things left to do \,” said Thompson. “The remaining work is mostly cosmetic to include doors, cabinets, paint and trim. We are looking forward to being back home as soon as possible.”
City Administrator Dan Miner says the police department and fire station should be opening sooner rather than later. “We anticipate having both the police and fire departments moved back in by the end of August,” said Miner. “That date has changed several times, but we are hopeful this time around.”
Washington County Public Library’s Chipley Branch is set to reopen on August 2 after their initial date was set for June. Delivery of the much-needed shelves that will hold more than 40,000 books was delayed but has since been delivered and set up.
Library Director Renae Rountree says library employees and volunteers are working hard to catalog and place all the books back where they belong.
“It has been a huge undertaking, but we are working hard to open our doors back up to the public,” said Rountree. “Even with replacing carpets,chairs and shelving, the library looks almost exactly as it did before. We have added a few new things to make it more comfortable and cozy for our patrons.”
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