Jefferson County Facilities Committee Looks at Options

The Jefferson County Facility Committee is looking at options to alleviate space needs for the Jefferson County Mayor’s Office, the County Clerk and the Jefferson County Finance Office. Jefferson County Facilities Director Longmire informed the committee that he has obtained appraisals on the current Finance Office and a potential building in downtown Dandridge that could be available for purchase. Should the new location, which is beside Tinsley Bible Drugs, be purchased by the County, the intent would be for it to house the Jefferson County Mayor’s Office and the Jefferson County Finance Office. With around 7300 sq ft of space and three floors, the potential sight will likely need few, if any ADA upgrades, according to Longmire. Tax appraisal for the new location is in the neighborhood of $800,000 though it was indicated that the negotiations may start closer to the million dollar mark.

Committee members suggested bringing back a price that would and would not include a furniture package. Jefferson County Finance Director Potts informed the committee that the purchase could be paid for through roll over from Debt Service, on a three year note, with no changes in the tax rate. He also said that $150,000 is in the current budget for upgrades to the current Finance Office. If that building were to be sold the upgrades would not be needed and those funds could go toward the purchase price. The current Finance Office was purchased for $241,400 a few years ago and is estimated to appraise for $264,607. Should the County Commission decide to sell the current Finance Office those funds could go toward renovation of the current County Clerk’s Office ( which is currently shared with the Mayor’s Office). The removal of the Mayor and his office staff from the current location would allow the County Clerk to expand his office space to accommodate more employees and citizens. The estimate cost of the renovations would be in the neighborhood of $233,600.

Following a withdrawn motion from Dockery/Solomon which locked in a cap on funding for the project as it goes to negotiations, Committee Members Solomon and Coleman made a successful motion to have Long mire,Finance Director Potts and Mayor Potts enter in to negotiations with the owner of the new potential location and bring back a price that would and would not include a furniture package.

Source: Kristen Depew