PDT Staff Writer
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Times Friday, Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners Mike Crabtree, said the county has a strong interest in purchasing the Courthouse Annex and is taking steps to do so.
“Obviously we have a strong interest in the building. We have the prosecutor on the second floor of the building, which takes up a third of the building. On the second floor we have Veterans Services,” Crabtree said. “There is quite a bit of county money going toward rent in that building.”
He said the money currently used for rent could be put towards the purchase of the building.
Recently the county moved the Prosecutor’s Office into second floor of the annex. This was done to make office space available for Fourth District Court of Appeals Judge Marie Hoover and her staff.
According to Heather Cunningham, Chief Deputy Auditor for Scioto County, “A review of our records shows that the County General Fund pays $2,083 per month for rental of office space for the Veterans Service Office. Also, the General Fund will be paying $4,200 per month for the lease of office space for the Prosecutor’s Office.”
Crabtree said the county is currently looking at a number of options it can utilize to save money that will be put towards to cost of purchasing the building.
“Right now we’re looking at how much money we could save by renewing bonds and different things like that and how we can go about acquiring that building at the least cost to the county,” Crabtree said. “We have to see if it’s feasible or not and if we can do it.”
He acknowledged the county must work within the limitations set by the Scioto County Financial Recovery and Supervision Commission. The commission has to approve any and all debt the county enters into and also has approval authority for a number of other items. Recently the commission approved $180,000 in projects for the county including the installation of a new roof for the courthouse.
A special meeting of the commission would have to be called to consider the purchased, before the county could officially purchase the building.
Crabtree said the current asking price for the building is $1.3 million.
“I think the final price of the build in negotiable, we’re hoping we can get it for something less than a million dollars,” he said.
Crabtree said the purchase could be done one of two ways.
“We could possibly enter into a long term lease with Ken Rase (owner of the building) or buy it directly, depending on how we would work this out,” Crabtree said.
Crabtree said a realistic time frame moving forward on this issue is within the next six months.
“I think we’ll know something about this in less than six months,” Crabtree said.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org.