News and Tribune

Floyd County

April 1, 2014

Setting the record straight in Floyd County: Commissioners defend purchase of Pine View

$2.7 million and three years later, all three officials say it was the right move, despite current budget woes

NEW ALBANY — It cost Floyd County government $1.2 million to purchase Pine View Elementary School in 2011. It cost another $1.5 million to turn the school into a government center.

Three years later, the Floyd County Commissioners still say it was the right move to make.

In the wake of the recent budget crisis facing the county, some have criticized the Pine View purchase, saying the price was too steep. All three commissioners, however, said Tuesday night the price was much cheaper than having to build a new youth shelter.

“This was a good purchase,” said Commissioners’ President Mark Seabrook. “We had to have a new youth shelter, it had to come out of that building [North Annex]. It wasn’t safe and it was too expensive to renovate.”

Seabrook said not only does Pine View serve as the home for the youth shelter, it also provided needed office and meeting space. He said the county had “outgrown” the second floor of the City-County Building.

“When we bought this building it was cheaper than having to build another building,” said Commissioner Chuck Freiberger. “It was a good decision when we bought this building. It was a good deal at the time.”

Commissioner Steve Bush said the county had to get the children out of the North Annex since it was in such disrepair.

“It was about protecting the youth,” Bush said. “There were health risks. This was a pretty good deal.”

The three also said they would consider selling some of the county’s assets to help with the budget woes. But they are in no hurry to unload the North Annex, Reisz Building or O’Brien property.

“I would take a look at it but it’s a short-term solution,” Bush said.

Seabrook agreed. He said money from the sale would have to be used wisely, otherwise the county would be out property and have nothing to show for it.

Freiberger said he would like to see the North Annex area remain a park setting.

“We have a problem with the budgets and if we sell properties and use the money quickly, we haven’t solved a thing except getting rid of assets and getting by for a year,” he said. “The true problems that need to be worked out concern the budgets.”

However, he said he would be willing to listen to any offer or discussion about county properties.

“The other properties [except the North Annex] I am not really interested in selling, but of course, all options have to be considered,” he said.  

RAMSEY RESIGNS

Floyd County Road Department Superintendent Jeff Ramsey has resigned, according to Director of County Operations Don Lopp.

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