No action on CD office move

Published 6:00 am Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors delayed discussion on aproposal to move the Civil Defense office to a vacant house onLinBrook Business Park property Monday.

County Attorney Bob Allen said he needed more time to get someitems in order before the board could reach an informed decisionabout the move.

LinBrook is owned by the Lincoln County-Brookhaven EconomicDevelopment Alliance – a joint venture between the city, county,and the chamber of commerce – and was purchased using bonds for theexpress purpose of generating industry and jobs, Allen said.

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The city is not opposing the move of the Civil Defense office,but the property’s Alliance ownership makes the move problematicsince Civil Defense does not generate jobs or income, Allen said.Although there are provisions in the state code used to issue thebonds that the property could be sold at fair market value, thereare no provisions for leasing the property.

However, Allen said, because Civil Defense is a public entity,and the Alliance does not oppose the move, he believes there is away clear the obstacle.

“I can’t find permission to do that, but I think I can get anattorney general’s opinion that can allow it,” he said.

In making the proposal two weeks ago, Civil Defense DirectorClifford Galey made it clear he understood the office would have tomove again at some future time should an industry show interest inthat location or the house itself.

“It is a risk for them to move out there,” said Chancery ClerkTillmon Bishop. “But Clifford and the people he works with areaware of the risk.”

Some renovation work would have to be done on the house to makeit operable as a Civil Defense office. That work could be doneprimarily with volunteers, Galey said.

He wants to make the move because the flat roof of the presentoffice is “seriously” damaged.

“I don’t understand why we can’t go fix it,” said District ThreeSupervisor Nolan Earl Williamson.

The discussion ended a short while later with no more talk offixing the roof. The board agreed to take up the matter again afterAllen confers with the attorney general’s office to determine ifthe move is even an option.

District One Supervisor the Rev. Jerry Wilson has expressedstrong interest in the present Civil Defense office building shouldthe move be approved.

“I want the building because it would be a good satellitelocation for us,” he said.

There are no plans to move the county barn, Wilson said, but hewould like to have the Civil Defense building for mechanic work oncounty equipment.