In Apr. 17-23 issue
By Greg Wells
Times Journal Managing Editor
JAMESTOWN - After a presentation by the architect regarding the basic layout of the Russell County Judicial Center, the Russell County Project Development Board spent a significant amount of time in secret session hashing over what they would offer for the land needed to build the facility.
To the City of Jamestown $225,000 was offered.
For Linda's Diner $100,000 is being offered.
The price offered for the adjacent building, which most recently housed Guthrie's Float House, was $95,000.
The offer was $38,000 for the former Bertram Service Station building.
The last offer was $135,000 for the building which currently houses a book store and the adjacent vacant lot.
The board will be sending out letters to the landowners with the offers and requesting responses by the board's next meeting, May 5th.
The owner of the property beside Linda's Diner, Jane Francois, was not pleased with the process or the offer and said she was considering hiring a lawyer.
If a landowner and the board disagree over the value of the property a commission and then the Circuit Court would be their next steps if condemnation was necessary to secure the needed property.
Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates said in an interview the next day that the offer was not what the city was hoping for but he would present it to the city council for their input before making any judgments.
The old clinic building, which the city is purchasing as a new city hall building will cost $150,000 to purchase and he said he was expecting it to cost $100,000 to fit it out for the city's use.
Bates said the city had offered essentially the package of properties that the board wants for $338,000.
He added that there were issues other than just the price that figured into the deal. He said he would talk everything over with the members of the council and then reply to the board's offer.
The next regular meeting of the Project Development Board is scheduled for May 5th at 5 p.m.
The time table for construction of the new Russell County Judicial Center has been eased because the Administrative Office of the Courts has said they can't occupy the new courts' building before June of 2010, due to budgetary constraints.
The 34,000 square foot project will house the Circuit Court, District Court, Family Court, Drug Court and the Russell Circuit Clerk's office and has a $11.7 million dollar budget for land purchase, construction as well as fitting out.