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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Annex to close Nov. 15

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On Monday the Putnam County Commissioners voted to close the Putnam County Courthouse Annex.
The writing was already on the wall, but the Putnam County Commissioners made it official Monday evening.

The Putnam County Courthouse Annex will close by Nov. 15.

President Gene Beck opened the discussion of the annex with the motion, which passed 3-0.

The county has been talking about closing the annex -- the former Jones School -- at 209 W. Liberty St. for a couple of months, but needed new locations for several county offices.

Two major pieces fell into place at Monday's meeting.

The first was an agreement with Putnam County Hospital to lease office space for the Health Department, Planning and Zoning Department and Emergency Management Agency. The move had already been discussed, but the commissioners agreed to the terms of the lease Monday.

Beth Glaze of the Health Department reported at Tuesday's Putnam County Council meeting the move is approximately half completed. She also said that, in spite of the small space of 1,800 square feet for three offices, the new location is meeting the staff's approval.

"We love our new home," Glaze said.

The move should become official with the approval of the hospital board today.

The other conundrum for the county had been a new spot for the Putnam County Extension Office. Several sites have been explored, but the commissioners settled on a plan Monday.

Extension will move to the lower level of the old Central National Bank building owned by Brian Pershing at 104 N. Vine St. The space was most recently occupied by Refinements. The upstairs of the building houses PNC Bank.

One of the concerns with moving is reduced space. The office currently occupies 2,700 square feet in the annex. That will be reduced to 1,944 square feet, with an additional 582 square feet of shared storage space.

However, Extension Educator Mark Evans said the building already has the infrastructure for the office's telephone and computer needs, so he thought the reduced space would work.

"We think it's a workable location," Evans said.

"It's close to the courthouse and everything's already there to hook up," Beck said.

Commissioner Nancy Fogle went before the County Council on Tuesday for their blessings on the project. She told them the rent for the extension office will be $19,440 per year. The rent for the other three offices at the hospital will be $1 per year, plus costs for cleaning and internet.

The cost for utilities alone at the annex are approximately twice that.

While councilors had questions about the costs associated with moth balling the annex, they ultimately signed off on the plan, with president Darrel Thomas expressing his relief that a decision had finally been made.

Councilor Larry Parker did, however, express his apprehension about the plan, saying the costs associated with closing the annex have not been established.

The commissioners and council will have to find a different place for their meetings, whether it be somewhere in the courthouse or at the emergency operations center.

The Annex also has three tenants that are not county offices. West Central Solid Waste is set to move to office space on Mill Pond Lane. Rural Transit and the American Red Cross are still in search of new locations.

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Please tell me that there is a typo in this story and Putnam County Hospital isn't really renting 3 offices for just $1 per year???

-- Posted by snowgurl452 on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 9:17 AM

Sure PCH would rent them offices for $1 per year. It brings more cars to the parking lot. Cars in the parking lot is part of their marketing strategy. It creates perception that people (your neighbors) are using their services. This tactic is also being used in Bainbridge where nearby businesses have been asked to have employees park in the PCH owned parking lot to make the physician practice there look "busier" than it actually is.

-- Posted by jorge on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 11:50 AM

Think about it. It is PUTNAM COUNTY HOSPITAL and PUTNAM COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT, PUTNAM COUNTY ZOINING, etc. So we are all PUTNAM COUNTY. Why would they charge more than $1 in rent? That is like taking money from one of your hands and putting it in your other hand. Makes sense to me!

-- Posted by interested party on Thu, Sep 22, 2011, at 7:55 AM

"While councilors had questions about the costs associated with moth balling the annex" huh? You'd think Putnam County would have bigger concerns than the cost of.....moth balls? When rent for the extension office will be $19,440 per year!

-- Posted by Redsonia on Thu, Sep 22, 2011, at 10:27 AM

Just curious!!! Where will the $19,440 for the rent for the extension office come from????

-- Posted by dumpsterdiva2 on Thu, Sep 22, 2011, at 9:54 PM

Why does every single article in the banner have people ranting and raving over stupid stuff? It gets really old.....The money for the extension office will come from where it has always come from.....and why gripe over the hospital renting space to the health dept for $1....They have the space and if it does put extra cars in their lot then yippy.....

-- Posted by CTT149 on Thu, Sep 22, 2011, at 10:12 PM

Still curious!! Where DOES the funding for the extension office come from??

-- Posted by dumpsterdiva2 on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 12:37 PM

@Redsonia.....Moth balling is a phrase used when you are closing a building, but not actually tearing it down or deeming it condemned. It can still be used for another purpose at a later date and opened at any time. There are still maintenance issues that arise when 'Moth Balling' a building. While they might actually use moth balls while its closed, they aren't going to spend thousands of dollars on moth balls? Your comment was too funny not to respond. I'm not making fun, just setting your mind at ease.....lol

-- Posted by ynm_gop on Tue, Sep 27, 2011, at 10:14 AM

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