Lack of action on new courts building is questioned
In Feb. 7-13 issue By Greg Wells Times Journal Managing Editor
JAMESTOWN - There is no news yet on the cost of property or eventual location of the new courts' building in Jamestown, and at least one property owner is growing impatient.
The Russell County Property Development Board, which is charged with selecting a site for the new Russell County Judicial Center, delayed its meeting this month.
County Judge-Executive Mickey Garner said this week that the appraisals for the property along U.S. 127 adjacent to the north east corner of the square will not be available until next Monday.
Since the next action was for the board to take those appraisals as their guide for selecting property to purchase and making offers on that property he said it was reasonable to delay the meeting until the appraisals were available.
One of the property owners, Jane Francois, has said she is not pleased with how the whole matter is being handled.
"I've never had a phone call from anyone since this started," said the owner of the building beside Linda's Diner. "They have my cell-phone number so they could have reached me if they'd tried."
Francois said the last tenants in her building, "Guthries' Float House," had made an offer to purchase the building. But she said that when their lease, which had a purchase option, ran out they relocated because of the impending destruction of the building.
Since then Francois said she has had another renter change their mind about occupying the building and other potential buyers turn away because of the uncertainty over whether the new justice center will take the property or not.
"I don't understand what is going on," Francois said. "There needs to be some explanation of what is or isn't going to happen."
She said that since talking with the mayor about the possibility of selling the property some time ago she has heard from no one.
There are repairs Francois said need to be made to the building if she isn't going to lose it, but she isn't going to spend that money on a structure that is just going to be torn down.
Garner said the appraiser is supposed to be contacting the property owners in order to conduct the appraisals.
"I don't know how they're supposed to appraise it. No one has called me," Francois said this Tuesday.
She added that she has a written offer on that property from two years ago that was nearly $150,000 and she may be seeking a private appraisal if the offer from the property board isn't to her satisfaction. Garner said the board is paying $10,000 for the appraisal of the property selected by the board and the state agency involved, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).
Construction of the multi-million dollar project will be funded by bonds and the cost of those bonds will set the rental rate the county charges the AOC to locate their offices and courts in that building.
Garner said no money will come from the state on this project until after the board decides on what property they are going to purchase for the new building.
The last decision from the board was that the prime location was that north-east corner of the square all the way north to include the old Bertram Service Station.
The next meeting of the board will be at Guthries' On The Square at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 15th.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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Jamestown KY 42629