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Palm Coast Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020 3 weeks ago

County hopes to sell evacuated, mold-affected Sheriff's Operations Center building

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If the property doesn't sell in 90 days, the county will have the building demolished.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

The evacuated, mold-affected Sheriff's Operations Center building on State Road 100 could be remade into some sort of work space — if anyone actually wants to buy it. But it won't be used for county employees: County Commissioners voted at their Feb. 3 meeting to sell the property, and to demolish the building if it doesn't sell in 90 days. 

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office evacuated all of its staff from the building in June 2018 after a number of employees got sick and blamed the building, which was later shown to have mold and water intrusion issues. County Administrator Jerry Cameron warned the board members against continuing to wait for the results of CDC testing. 

“It is a financial issue for us," he said. “It is also an issue of confidence in the community for us to address this and put it behind us." 

To that end, he said, county staff had come up with three options for the facility: 1) Demolish the building; 2) Sell the land with the building still on it; or 3) Try to rehabilitate the building. 

Tearing the building down and selling the land would leave the county with an estimated net gain of $302,327. Selling the land with the building still on it could bring in $2.25 million for the county. County staff expected that rehabilitating the building would cost around $412,761. 

Commissioner David Sullivan said that if the county can't place the sheriff and his staff back in the building, it would be hard to make the case for placing any other county employees there, either. 

If the county tries to sell the building and can't find a buyer, he said, it could always revert back to the demolition option. 

Sheriff Rick Staly, speaking during the meeting’s public comment period, warned against attempts to rehabilitate the building. 

“I think there’s many more issues with that building than those Terracon [environmental testing] reports say," he said. “I think that building is shot. They took a pig and put lipstick on it; it’s still a pig. So my recommendation is Option 2." 

Commissioners agreed to market the building for 90 days, then demolish it if it doesn‘t sell.

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