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County plans to buy property on North Main
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    During a special called meeting Wednesday, Bulloch County Commissioners voted to purchase a little over 1.5 acres next door to the Bulloch County Annex on North Main St.
    When the owner of a motel property offered the county the property about a year ago at $1.2 million, county officials declined, although the property was then appraised at $1.3 million. There were concerns about spending that much on property that would require demolition of old buildings.
    However, a new deal means the county will purchase the property at a third of the original asking price - $400,000, said Bulloch County’s legal counsel attorney Jeff Akins.
    BB&T, which holds interest in the property, agreed to a “short sale” contract which would deed the property to the county for the $400,000 plus closing costs and taxes due. Both the bank and the owner signed contracts agreeing to the price. Commissioners voted unanimously to accept the deal, with the exception of Carolyn Etheridge, who recused herself from the vote and was not present Wednesday.
    The property is recently appraised at $820,000, Akins said. “This is an opportunity to purchase (land) for less than half its market value.”
    Bulloch County Manager Tom Couch said the deal was promising and could prove beneficial for the county offices’ growth. “I think we all know… we always try to look forward regarding our facility needs.”
    The property being adjacent to the currently cramped county annex “will allow us to flex out, if you will,” he said. The property will dovetail with future expansion plans.
    Bulloch County Commissioner Roy Thompson reiterated that the property is being purchased for roughly a third of its original asking price, and moved to approve signing the contracts, with Couch or a designee representing the county in the business transaction. Commissioner Ray Mosley seconded the motion.
    The closing is expected to take place before Dec. 27, Akins said.
    The property does not include a section where a building once housing several restaurants is located. The property being purchased by the county consists of property that was once used as a hotel and motel, and more recently was vacated by the Budget Inn, which rented former motel rooms as both long-term housing and nightly rentals.
    The property is located on North Main Street across from Statesboro First Baptist Church.
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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