Putnam County may have located additional parking for an expanded jail and justice center.
County Mayor Randy Porter identified on Monday five properties for sale near the Putnam County Justice Center.
County commissioners have six months to decide whether or not to purchase all or some of the properties. Porter said commissioners should consider the future when making that decision.
“I go back to two examples. One, if you were around when the justice center was built, the county could have bought that whole block and they didn’t. Now where are we?” Porter said. “When we built the 911 center, elections, and health we could have bought the whole farm, but we didn’t. Now, if we had that extra land out there we could do a lot of stuff with it.”
Porter said funding for the properties would be attached to bond payments for the jail and justice center expansion project.
“There’s a new requirement on bonding,” Porter said. “If you decided that you wanted to pay for anything that’s associated with any bond, you have to pass this resolution before you ever make any of those purchases. You cannot include any purchase of land in the bond, unless you pass this first.”
County Commissioners approved the resolution during Monday’s county commission meeting. Porter has set 180-day options on each of the five properties under consideration.
“I’m a planner, and I look at planning for the future,” Porter said. “In looking at land that’s around the justice center, there’s not that much that’s normally available and it’s rarely available for sale.”
The justice center will lose parking if the county decides to take on the expansion project. Preliminary plans have the current parking lot being used for a majority of the expansion project.