Jackson County Hoping to Break Ground on New Government Buildings

Marianna- Jackson County Commissioners said they had two pressing needs: a new Community Development building, and a County Administration building.

All seemed to be in agreement during Tuesday's workshop that renovating the existing Community Development building would not be in the County's best interest.

"Spend a $1 million on an old building or spend $1.5 or $2 million on a brand new building? Architect, Paul Donofro Jr. said of the situation. "And the decision was reached- the consensus was reached to build a new building as opposed to rehab an old building."

Donofro estimated the new facility would take about a year to complete. But, the board didn't come to any consensus on his 2007 proposal for a new county administration facility.

"Right now, we're looking at the possibility of building a two- building development to house a number of the programmatic departments for the county" Donofro said.

The timing was both good and bad. Two percent interest rates seemed to be a big incentive for breaking ground on a second building.

"It plays a major role" Commissioner Kenneth Stephens said of the low rate, "but still, you've got be able to afford what you do."
Stephens told us he was concerned about over extending the county on the cost".

"It's just the cost factor" he continued. "And that annual payment would be considerably more than a $1.5- $2 million building than a $10.5 million building."

Commissioners planned to review the building plans, the budget, and search for potential funding sources such as grants.

The county engineer was also asked to investigate another possible problem: the cost of cleaning-up possible soil contamination at the old jail site.


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