Potential property purchase

The county commissioners plan to buy this old funeral home on Albany Avenue in Danielsville.

Madison County took a step Monday to secure more courtroom and office space.

County commissioners agreed to hold a public hearing on a planned lease/purchase agreement for the old funeral home at 20 Albany Avenue across from the county government complex in Danielsville. The hearing will be held via Zoom at 6 p.m., June 29. Visit the county website at madisoncountyga.us to find a link to that meeting.

The lease/purchase agreement is for a principle sum of $325,000. The payments will be split over four years, with the first payment of $85,000.

Scarborough said facility helps the county fill its need for more courtroom space.

Gina Ward, Colbert, spoke against the purchase.

“I feel that what you have planned may be a good thing, but not right time to spend money with financial insecurity in the county, strongly opposed to the BOC purchasing something that isn’t a dire emergency right now,” she said. “There are other things more for the public benefit overall versus buying an old building.

Commissioner Tripp Strickland said he understood Ward’s point. But he said courtroom space for the county isn’t easy to come by.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity having the owner finance it to us at such a low interest rate,” he said. “I understand Gina’s feelings, but I don’t think we’ll ever be in this situation to have this opportunity. We’re in need of space.”

In other business, the commissioners approved a request by Royce Bray representing Roger and Carol Jordan to rezone three acres of their property on Garnett Ward Road from R-R to R-1 and one acre of their property from R-R to B. The request for one acre business zoning is to relocate Bray’s lock and key business from Athens.

The board met in closed session to discuss the “potential acquisition of property.” The group then voted in open session to hold a public hearing on June 29 regarding a proposed lease/purchase agreement for a new Department of Family and Children Services facility. The new DFCS building is planned on the property where the old county school board office currently sits off Hwy. 29 in Danielsville.

The board learned that there are two vacancies on the library board that need to be filled. They also were informed that the county’s payment to the Northern Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office will be $5,000 less this year than last.

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