Gadsden County Commissioners narrowly approved the purchase of a 52-acre property located during the first regularly scheduled meeting of the year.
In December, the county commissioners requested a second appraisal of the property which was completed by Brown Bevis Real Estate Appraisers
That report listed the property as being valued at $750,000, compared to the previous appraisal by Cureton Johnson & Associates, which listed the property as being valued at $865,000.
During the January 3 meeting, Commissioner Eric Hinson asked if the Affordable Body Shop, which is located on the property, was still under a lease.
County Attorney Clayton Knowles confirmed that the body shop is under a two-year lease with a five-year option.
During previous meetings, the commissioners discussed putting a large hotel, conference center, a new sheriff’s office, emergency management and county governmental complex, and an affordable single-family home subdivision at the site.
During the most recent meeting, Hinson expressed his concern for putting affordable housing across from two detention facilities – the Gadsden County Jail and the Quincy Correctional Facility.
County Administrator Ed Dixon noted the subdivision would be further back on the property, and Commissioner Ronterious Green who represents the district that the property is in said there are already residences in that area.
He also noted that there are residences and a shelter around the federal prison and county jail in Tallahassee.
After looking over the most recent appraisal report, Commissioner Alonzetta Simpkins said she wanted to make sure the county received a fair price and asked if the price was negotiated.
Dixon said the property’s current owner was firm regarding the price.
Dixon said the county plans to develop 80 lots on the property into affordable, single-family homes.
The county administrator said even if the county sells each lot for $10,000, the county will get its money back from the investment, withstanding the other development opportunities.
Simpkins, who has voiced her objections to the appraisal of the body shop several times, asked if there are plans for the body shop.
The first appraisal report listed the body shop as being valued at $350,000, and the second at $240,000.
Dixon said the plan is to begin to look at the property and find money to improve it.
The county has already paid a $20,000 deposit on the property which will be deducted from the total price of $750,000.
The vote was split 3-2, with Hinson and Simpkins opposing the purchase.
Erin Hill – Gadsden County News Service