Voters reject plan to move court functions to vacant Kmart building

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ABINGDON, Va. (AP) -- Voters in a southwest Virginia county have defeated a proposal that would have relocated their historic courthouse's functions to a vacant Kmart building in a strip mall.

The Bristol Herald Courier reports every precinct in Washington County voted against the proposal in a referendum earlier this week.

The move was proposed because county officials and judges had expressed concern over security issues and a lack of space and parking. But the idea had drawn derision at previous public hearings.

County Administrator Jason Berry says the result is a "clear message from the people." He says a committee studying the issue will now revisit at 2016 engineering study and potentially consider new options.

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