The Sharp County Quorum Court has told Realtors the county has no interest in purchasing the existing county road shop and property in Cherokee Village. Instead, the court is looking into constructing a new shop on county-owned property on Fairgrounds Road.
The county has been renting the 8,000-square-foot road shop for five years. The shop serves as the headquarters for the 23 county road employees, said Dan Melbourne, county road superintendent.
The property owner, Marvin Gibbons, has placed the property up for sale and has given the county the first option to purchase the property, estimated to be just more than an acre, JP Greg Prenger said.
The asking price is $85,000. The property assesses at $78,600, county assessor Kathy Nix said. The county pays Gibbons $800 a month to rent the space located on the edge of Cherokee Village near Highland.
JP Dennis Burton said the building is in need of repair. It needs a new roof. It has termite damage and some areas of the building are rusting.
"We could have well over $100,000 in this before we get started," Burton said. "If we put a new roof on we'd have a 30-year-old building with a new roof."
Burton suggested the county look into constructing a smaller building and include three bays, an office and another room and use a smaller metal shed for storage.
He said the county could build the new building with a pit and a wash bay -- something the current shop does not have.
"I'm comfortable with either direction you go," Melbourne said. "A new building would be nice. It's dollars and cents we're talking about and that's what really matters."
One of the benefits of the current shop is its central location, Judge Harold Crawford said. JPs were concerned the Fairgrounds Road would not hold up with the additional heavy traffic.
"They're hauling logs on it now," Melbourne said. "I think the first part of it there does have a good enough base on it."
The county will receive bids on constructing a new county shop. They will review them at the next quorum court meeting.
"I think we ought to think a little bit," JP Ray Martin said. "I think we should study it some more before we make a decision."
"We've got some time," JP Greg Prenger said. "We've got a lease on it and I think no matter who bought it (they) would want to rent it to the county for a while."
Melbourne said the county used to operate out of an old quansit hut in Evening Shade. The county would often have to contract mechanics from dealers to work on the equipment because of lack of space. Since the county moved, the road department does the vast majority of the mechanical work, he said.
Cherokee Village recently constructed a shop near the county's shop in Cherokee Village. The city spent $165,000 constructing the 10,500-square-foot building with a pit, Cherokee Village Ray Maynard said.
In other business, Weaver asked the court to consider adding on to the jail in the future.
"Sooner or later we're going to get our tails in a bind by housing felons and misdemeanors together," he said. "I don't want us to be putting a lot of money into that jail if we're not going to use it for a long time, but five beds should do us for a while."
Weaver said he will get cost estimates together for the next Quorum Court meeting.
The court appointed Marilyn Sanders to the Sharp County Recycling Board.
The court agreed to give $200, appropriated in grants and aid in the county budget, to the Civil Air Patrol.
The court passed a resolution to extend water lines to accommodate the Needmore Road area.
Steve Martin of Cherokee Village asked the court to review their resolution regarding public facilities. He and a group of concerned residents have presented a petition of protest to Judge Harold Crawford regarding a recent election of board members to the Cherokee Village facilities water board.
Kissee and Crawford will review the issue.