Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
By Shelley Grieshop
Former sheriff's office draws no buyers
  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 for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• BOE taking applications for director
• Mercer County plans nearly $2 million in road paving
• Graduation set for Sunday
• St. Marys drug bust brings four arrests
• Grant awarded to Rockford for street reconstruction
• Local farmers can join ag-issue tour
• School board to consider levy
• Two youngsters will face arson charges
• New St. Henry salon offers many services
• Goodwin will continue to run at Kent State
• St. Marys' Thornsberry, Ferrall voted to first team
• Celina's Waterman repeats as all-league performer
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