County leaders agreed Monday they will discuss again whether to sell county farmland to help pay for the construction of the new jail during their next meeting Oct. 21.
During Monday’s meeting, Carroll County Supervisors discussed the pros and cons of keeping or selling the 114 acres of farmland that sit north of Carroll.
“What I’ve basically heard is that the county farm, as a county farm, has served its purpose,” Supervisor Neil Bock said. “It was designed to support the county home, which is long closed and has been redeveloped to Journey (Senior) Services. I also did a little scenario as opposed to what our interest rates (are) and what our returns have been on the farm. I just want to make sure if we do indeed sell the farm, that it’s a good business decision, not just an emotional decision.”
Bock said he originally did not want to sell the county’s land, but if it will sell for $1 million, it will offset what the county currently earns by renting it.
“We have a set target,” he said. “A sale of about $1 million or more would be advantageous over continually renting it.”
The Carroll County Supervisors first began looking into the option of selling the county farm after the low construction bid for the new jail came in at $10.9 million, which is about $4 million more than what voters were told it would cost last year. Selling the land is one of the options county leaders have explored to help cover the extra costs.
But Bock said if the county does not receive its asking price of $1 million, it will not sell the land.
“I think we should maybe consider it again next meeting when we have a full board,” he said.
Supervisor Dean Schettler was not present at Monday’s meeting.
In other news, supervisors prepared for Monday evening’s City Council meeting, where Bock spoke about the longtime partnership between the county and city. The city previously had voted against relinquishing four parking spots to the county to accommodate construction of the jail because of residents’ concerns about losing the spots. However, the council reversed the vote Monday.
Going into the meeting, Bock said supervisors were unsure what would happen. But after the council approved a revised plan that will remove those four Main Street parking spots but add six others, Bock said the supervisors were happy with the results, which will allow the county to move forward with jail construction as planned without having to redesign the structure.
“The meeting went excellent,” Bock told the Times Herald Tuesday. “We are happy with the decision. Going into the meeting, we thought it would be OK.”
In other news, the county currently is working with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office to order portable toilets in preparation of when all sewage will be turned off at the courthouse.
Badding Construction will be working on a sewer line for the new jail and will shut off the water and bathrooms at the courthouse for up to a day, Bock said.
A few toilets will be purchased for jail inmates, and a few more will be bought for employees at the courthouse. The tentative shutoff date is Oct. 21.
During the meeting Monday, county supervisors also began planning the retirement party for longtime county engineer Dave Paulson.
The party is open to the public and will be held at noon Dec. 13 at the Carroll County Engineer building on 1400 W. Sixth Street.