Reversal on County Building
The county office building will not be erected on the 21-acre tract in downtown Carthage after all.
With a quorum reduced to three because of illness, the Moore County Board of Commissioners on Monday voted 2-1 not to place the office building on the same tract where the public safety-detention center will be erected. In theory, that leaves space for eventual construction of a larger and modernized facility to serve the court system.
The vote was taken in connection with another agenda item in which the board was asked to make a decision about whether to advertise for bids for the office building at the same time bids are sought for the public safety-detention complex.
The action was one in a series of three votes taken in rapid succession at the board's regular Monday meeting. Board Chairman Tim Lea made the motion to rescind the board's action taken last summer, also on a split vote, to place the office building on the Grimm property in downtown Carthage.
Commissioner Cindy Morgan voted with Lea, and Commissioner Larry Caddell cast the dissenting vote. Commissioners Jimmy Melton and Nick Picerno were absent because of illness. Melton came for the meeting but left because of a flare-up with a heart condition.
"It was not a surprise to anyone," Lea said Tuesday morning in an impromptu telephone interview. He said all five commissioners were aware that the -matter would be on the agenda as a holdover item from the May 3 meeting agenda.
Although unspoken, there were hints that Melton and Picerno may have changed their minds about placing the office building on the Grimm property because there is insufficient space for three buildings there.
Since the board made its original plans to use that property for the public safety-detention center and the office building, local courts officials have called attention to critical space issues involving the existing Courts Facility. A committee studying local courts space needs has recommended that a new and larger building be erected to accommodate those needs and that the ideal location is in the vicinity of the detention center.
However, the 21 acres include some wetlands, thus restricting the buildable area, which must also provide a significant amount of space for parking. The county has looked at the Carriage Oaks Complex as a possible site for the office building, but no decision has been made. Carriage Oaks is the county-owned property where the Department of Social Services and other county agencies are now located. It is about one mile from downtown Carthage.
At the Monday night meeting, the board was asked to decide whether to bid or not to bid the office building at this time. The item was on the May 3 agenda but was tabled until the next meeting.
The board has already voted to proceed with the bid search process for the public safety-detention center, to be erected adjacent to the existing jail. The Grimm property is behind the present jail and extends to McNeill Street on one side and to Dowd Street on the other.
Later in the meeting, the board voted unanimously to table three related items for future action. These were: to adopt a reimbursement and preliminary resolution for the limited obligation bonds and adopt a resolution calling a public hearing; to approve financing options for the public safety-detention center; and to consider final construction drawings and bid documents for the public safety-detention center.
A special meeting will be held June 2.
Contact Florence Gilkeson by e-mail at email@example.com.
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