More work ahead on historic courthouse


By Andy Winemiller - awinemiller@s24476.p831.sites.pressdns.com



From left, Don Mitchell, Surry County facilities director, presents an offer on county-owned property to Commissioners Larry Phillips and Eddie Harris.


Andy Winemiller | The News

DOBSON — The county could soon unload a property in Mount Airy, while making plans to fix up another in Dobson.

At a budget workshop on Tuesday, Don Mitchell, facilities director, asked the Surry County Board of Commissioners to consider selling a property in the Mount Airy area and to consider funding a more extensive use plan for what once served as the county’s courthouse.

In late February, architect Tony Chilton offered a hand-drawn plan for the courthouse, the exterior of which was recently renovated. Chilton also handled the architecture for the exterior project.

Those plans included turning the second floor of the building into office spaces for the county’s administration and meeting rooms for the county board.

Currently, the building houses the Surry County District Attorney’s offices on its first floor and other court-related offices throughout the building. The district attorney’s offices would remain at the site.

“That was a preliminary, rough analysis?” asked board Chairman Eddie Harris of the earlier presentation.

Mitchell said a new plan would be more extensive. It would be a map for the project and is the next step in turning the building into something which can be used by the county.

Commissioners unanimously voted to move forward with the plan, for which Chilton will charge a little less than $13,000 in fees.

Finance Officer Sarah Bowen said the dollars will come from Mitchell’s department budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Surplus property

The county board also unanimously accepted an offer on two pieces of property the county acquired as a result of a tax foreclosure in 2016.

An adjoining property owner offered the county $13,000 for two lots on Willis Road, according to Mitchell. A “burned out” house sits on one of the lots and the other is vacant land. With the acceptance of the offer, the county must advertise for an upset bid for 10 days.

Mitchell noted the combined tax value for the two lots is $11,550, and $8,000 was owed in back taxes and legal fees.

The would-be property owner has plans to demolish the old structure and place a mobile home for a family member on the property, said Mitchell.

Noting the resident has a vested interest in cleaning up the property, Commissioner Van Tucker said, “This is probably as much or more than any other offer we would get for the property, and the county isn’t in the business of owning property.”

Harris noted the new owner will have a significant clean-up bill should he take possession of the property.

From left, Don Mitchell, Surry County facilities director, presents an offer on county-owned property to Commissioners Larry Phillips and Eddie Harris.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_Property2.jpgFrom left, Don Mitchell, Surry County facilities director, presents an offer on county-owned property to Commissioners Larry Phillips and Eddie Harris. Andy Winemiller | The News

By Andy Winemiller

awinemiller@s24476.p831.sites.pressdns.com

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

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