Commissioners opt to part with former office

Property at 81 Jefferson St. could be sold, demolished or given away

Seneca County commissioners agreed to move forward with the sale of the former commissioners’ office, 81 Jefferson St., Tuesday.

During a work session before the board’s regular meeting, Commissioner Mike Kerschner said he would be attending an Architectural Board of Review meeting Tuesday to discuss the future of the building.

He said commissioners decided to work toward removing the building from the county’s portfolio. One leading option for the building is to sell it to the Seneca County Land Bank and have the bank dispose of it.

Commissioner Shayne Thomas said there is no reason for the county to own the building.

“We don’t have any potential to use it in the long term or the near term,” he said.

Thomas said the board could demolish, donate or sell the building, but he vowed the commissioners would not allow it to deteriorate.

Thomas and Commissioner Holly Stacy said they were more concerned about the building taking up space in an area where it could be put to better use.

“My focus is the greater good here,” Thomas said. “It’s an area that’s ripe for redevelopment … we’re the obstacle.”

Kerschner said the issue raised by making this decision is that there are still many documents being stored in the building.

Stacy agreed.

“I don’t know if we’re anywhere further (with a decision on document storage),” she said. “We know we’ve got to keep that on the radar and make something happen if the land bank does come back to us with something favorable.”

The commissioners agreed to continue discussion of what to do with the documents in the building and also had consensus on getting rid of the building.