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Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Former sheriff's office draws no buyers

By Shelley Grieshop

No one submitted bids to buy the county-owned building on Livingston Street in C. . .

CELINA - It didn't take long Tuesday to open sealed bids to buy the former Mercer County Sheriff's Office building.
There weren't any.
Tuesday was the deadline for interested parties to cast bids for the county-owned, two-story building on Livingston Street in Celina. No one submitted bids or arrived for the 11 a.m. bid-opening process.
The lack of interest didn't surprise county commissioners.
"I kind of anticipated this," commissioner Jerry Laffin said.
Ideally, commissioners wanted someone to buy the 82-year-old building and move it from its current location across from the county courthouse. Moving charges were to be the responsibility of the buyer.
So far, the county has been unable to secure funding to pay for the demolition of the building. However, they were able to nab funds to raze the old jail next door. Both sites are destined to become parking lots for county employees.
The former sheriff's office and jail buildings were abandoned after the new Mercer County Adult Detention Center - including administrative offices and a 110-bed jail - officially opened its doors in late February west of Celina.
Laffin said he and commissioners Bob Nuding and John Bruns now will take a closer look at their options. They intend to continue searching for funds to pay for the demolition of the building, which would cost thousands of dollars, they said.
The county has no interest in the building for several reasons, including it's not handicap-accessible and would need a total electricity upgrade. Demolishing it would be less costly than trying to move it and remodel it, Laffin said.
"Our intention was always to get rid of it, but then there was the budget crunch ..." and commissioners didn't want to use taxpayer dollars to tear it down, Laffin said.
The building, a former residential home, was built in 1928 and includes an attic, renovated office space, a half-bathroom and kitchen. Salvageable items continue to be removed from the building for use by other departments, for sale or disposal.
In related news, commissioners set
June 3 as the deadline to receive bids for the demolition of the former jail.
Additional online stories on this date
MONTEZUMA - The shrill warning of a smoke detector has been credited with giving an area family time to escape their burning duplex Tuesday morning. [More]
CELINA - Delores Schmitz and her husband, the late Cletus Schmitz, were honored with the Mercer County Outstanding Senior Citizens of the Year award during Senior Citizen Day activities on Tuesday. [More]
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