MOUNT VERNON — Knox County Commissioners acted to lock in some long-term savings Thursday by purchasing a building to house two agencies and refinancing a 2008 property purchase.
The commissioners voted to issue a note for $833,845 to finance the moves. Of that, about $300,000 will cover the purchase of the old Lamb Glass, later Chattanooga Glass, building and property at 160 Columbus Road.
The building will house the OSU Extension Service office and the Knox Soil & Water Conservation Service office.
Those offices had been housed in the same building with the Farm Service Agency and the Farmers Home Administration. Leaving the convenience of that arrangement is a “regrettable” aspect of the move, said Commissioner Roger Reed.
“It all comes down to money,” said Commissioner Teresa Bemiller.
The commissioners said the amount paid for the rent (or subsidies that help pay the rent) for those two offices — about $3,750 per month — will cover the payments for the building, which will be paid for in 10 years.
The building sits on about 3.352 acres and was purchased at a sheriff’s sale. Commissioner Allen Stockberger said the building had been for sale, but they thought the asking price of $425,000 was too high, but the county decided to bid when it went up for auction.
As an added bonus, the purchase includes a section of railroad right-of-way about 500 feet long. That should help fill in part of remaining gaps between the Heart of Ohio Trail and Foundation Park.
The other $533,000 is to refinance the purchase of about 50 acres near the fairgrounds, made from the Linsley estate in 2008. The commissioners said they thought it was a good opportunity to take advantage of today’s low interest rates.
Some of the property has been used for overflow parking during the fair, said Stockberger, and there has been some general discussion about how the land will be used in the future, but the purchase was mainly a good opportunity to have land available for future fairgrounds expansion and to maintain a buffer between the fairgrounds and nearby residences.
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