Environmental study at jail site complete

Published 7:35 pm Wednesday, September 5, 2018

DSM Environmental Services has completed a report on buildings located at the former Pinewood Hotel where the Warren County Board of Supervisors are currently purchasing 47 acres for a new jail facility on U.S. Highway 80.

County attorney Blake Teller told the board during their regular meeting Tuesday, the environmental study did not find any asbestos material in the buildings that must be removed from the site.

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The supervisors approved paying DSM $1,350 for their services.

“Nothing unexpected was found,” Teller said.

Supervisor John Arnold asked Teller if the county now owns the property. Teller said he was expecting to hear Tuesday that an individual the owners of the property allowed to keep horses at the location had removed the horses.

“They’ve been asked to get the horses off before we can go on it and it should have already happened,” Teller said. “I’m waiting on word from the attorney of the estate the horses are off the property.”

Teller was planning to record the deeds Tuesday.

In June, the county voted unanimously to buy the property for $400,000, which is $29,000 more than the appraised value.

The 350-bed facility is expected to be paid through a bond issue in the range of $18-20 million.

In another matter, Teller requested the board authorize him as board attorney to sign a class action opt-in notice form to enter the county into a national class action lawsuit to recover under paid Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) funds.

“There’s nationwide ongoing litigation regarding some underpayments by the government by PILOT, which could be income to this county,” Teller said. “We don’t know or have any idea really what that would amount to, but we might as well opt-in and see what it brings.”

The supervisors recessed until their next meeting Sept. 17 at 9 a.m. in their boardroom on the third floor of the Warren County Courthouse.