SCBC will purchase Casey’s Pro Tire building to house county fleet

The Stephens County Board of Commissioners has approved a $450,000 purchase for a new fleet maintenance shop.

During the Stephens County Board of Commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday, the Commission voted and approved a motion to enter into a contract for the purchase of real estate with Jimmy and Kathy Keesee for the property located at 36 Mize Road in Toccoa.

The Commission will use funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to purchase the property. According to County Administrator Phyllis Ayers, the property will be used to house the County’s fleet of vehicles.

“This will relocate the fleet maintenance shop. They are packed, it’s very difficult to get in the shop with all the equipment, sheriff’s vehicles, ambulances, while the road department’s trying to work. So, this will separate them out and give them more space,” she said.

She adds that the purchase price also includes all of the equipment.

“It comes with all the contents. So, it has lifts, new diagnostics, everything inside goes with,” she said.

County Attorney Brian Ranck added that before the county closes on the property they will conduct an environmental and building inspection.

“This will close no later than 75 days, if everything is ready it’ll close sooner than that. We’ll need a little bit of environmental inspection type work done on the property first,” Ranck said.

“Jason will get started, I’ve already talked to him about that yesterday, he’ll get someone started on that right away. We’ll get the building inspector to look also,” Ayers said.

Chairman James Addison says the county will move the maintenance of their fleet to this building as it is more suitable for safety reasons and space. He says the current shop has one lift and limited space; whereas the new location has multiple lifts and an alignment machine, which the county currently outsources for.

At this time, Addison says the only anticipated cost for improvements to the property is for fencing and security.

Addison says this purchase falls within the guidelines for using ARPA funding. He says, “because Stephens County received less than $10 million of ARPA funding we were able to choose the ‘standard allowance’ which is to spend the money on any service that we already provide.”

WNEG News asked Addison why the county’s assessed value of the property is $148,437; yet the county is paying three times their own market value for the property.

Addison explained that this was the negotiated price with the seller and includes all inside equipment and property, with some of the equipment still new.

The county is expected to close on the property within 75 days.

A motion approving the purchase was made by Vice Chair Dennis Bell with Commissioner Dean Scarborough seconding the motion.

The motion was approved 4-0 with Commissioner Debbie Whitlock being absent.