Aug. 22—The real estate developer who purchased the annex building for $16,000 in June signed a memorandum of understanding with the county on Tuesday, allowing a number of department employees to still work on the premises until the construction of the new administration office is completed in spring 2022.
Upon signing the memorandum, the buyer — Chris Byrd — is granted immediate access and occupancy of the basement areas of the annex building.
The agreement also states if Byrd performs all obligations, the ownership shall be delivered to him at the time of closing, which requires both parties to sign the memorandum, payment delivered to the county, a quitclaim deed executed and delivered to buyer and when the county vacates the building.
Any damages or losses to the building will be county's responsibility until the sale is closed. In the event the building is destroyed or sustains substantial damage, the memorandum of understanding will be null and void unless Byrd wishes to complete the closing and receive insurance proceeds regardless of damages.
When the sale is closed, the rent payments received by the county for the T-Mobile tower affixed onto the annex building roof will be transferred to Byrd.
Until Jasper County vacates the building, no demolition, construction or remodeling work can be done. Any repairs to the building will be handled by the county prior to closing. If for any reason the sale of the property cannot be completed, Byrd will have 60 days to vacate the annex building.
"I love old buildings," Byrd told Newton News. "I know it needs some work but I stand by the fact that it's a good value."
Byrd said he plans to have a telemarketing business for his roofing company to occupy the basement of the annex building. However, the remaining floors could be home to other local businesses, whether it be a chiropractor's office, a doctor's officer or a restaurant, Byrd said.
In other action Tuesday, the board of supervisors:
—Approved the $12,199 bid from Warnick & Reeves to replace two HVAC roof units at the Jasper County Community Center. Jasper County Maintenance Director Adam Sparks suspected two out of the four units were hit from a lightning strike, prompting the need to either replace or repair them. The cheapest repair bid came from Brooker Corporation at $4,000 a piece, or $8,000 total. Sparks said it didn't make sense to repair 15-year-old units. Supervisors agreed the best course of action was to replace the units altogether.
—Waived the second and third readings of a public hearing and approved the rezoning of a property to a residential classification. Jasper County Community Development Director Kevin Luetters informed supervisors about the one dissenting comment he received, which he said was more so a dispute with the property owner and not the rezoning itself.
Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or firstname.lastname@example.org