PDT Staff Writer
It’s been seven months since Fourth District Court of Appeals Judge Matthew McFarland was displaced from the Scioto County Courthouse due to a flood. As a result, McFarland and his staff moved to the courthouse annex across the street. On Tuesday, McFarland met with Scioto County Commissioner Skip Riffe asking for an update on where they county is at in possible purchase of the annex.
Riffe said the county is taking measures to purchase the annex and will likely take place next year.
In June, the commissioners received an insurance check for nearly $28,000 to cover the damage done McFarland’s office. Restoration work on the office has been completed. McFarland told Riffe that since the move, his staff have been working out of boxes in anticipation of having to move back into their third floor office in the courthouse.
“The intent is still to negotiate and acquire that building,” Riffe said. “Sometime after the first of the year, we are going to get an appraisal and start negotiating with Ken Rase (building owner).”
Riffe said the purchase would not likely happen until the county is removed from fiscal emergency status in February.
“I think we’re going to get out of fiscal emergency sometime in February. The actual purchase will not likely take place until we get out of fiscal emergency,” Riffe said.
He said by his estimations the earliest the county could purchase the building would be mid spring.
“The interest is still there, so you can stay right where you’re at until otherwise instructed, if that’s fine with you,” Riffe said.
McFarland has expressed interest to the commissioners in staying in the annex, saying his staff prefers the annex. He said the county has yet to pay Rase rent for his office. In response Riffe said, “we’re going to leave it that way as long as we can.”
According to the Scioto County Auditors Office, the county’s general fund pays $2,083 per month for rental of office space for the Veterans Service Office and$4,200 per month for the lease of office space for the Prosecutor’s Office in the annex.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.