Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Jackson Looking To Purchase Property To Lessen Courthouse Traffic

Jackson County will potentially use American Rescue Plan funding to purchase property that would mitigate courthouse traffic.

County Commissioners approved a resolution Monday night allowing Mayor Randy Heady to start the process of purchasing a long-vacant building near the courthouse. Heady said that the ARP funding would be used for both purchase of the property and its renovation.

“And this would lessen the day-to-day traffic by at least a third,” Heady said. “And then on special events such as elections would make a drastic change in people coming into a confined space.”

Heady said that the total cost to purchase and renovate the building would total up to $450,000. He said because the county is set for broadband and water line extension, this would be a good way to spend ARP funding.

“Jackson County has fiber to any house in Jackson County that wants fiber can get it,” Heady said. “I’m not sure the number but I’ll say 150 or less households but that only because those households have not called and said that Twin Lakes can come and put fiber in. The fiber’s there and it’s ready to be laid. So we don’t need broadband, we’re good on that. We’re fortunate and blessed to have a provider such as Twin Lakes here. For water, Jackson County doesn’t have a sewer plant and our water line extension, as I mentioned in a workshop, the state has allocated money for counties. And TDEC is in charge of seeing that come down. So we already know that almost $3.5 million will be coming down to Jackson County for water line extension.”

Heady said that because the courthouse is currently a one-stop-shop for most county business, this purchase is a good investment with the ongoing worry of COVID.