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Building donated to town of Goshen

Goshen Mayor Malon Johnson can’t remember exactly when, but he knows it was on a Tuesday.

“They had scheduled to demolish (the old TDS building) on a Tuesday,” Johnson said. “They had the backhoe backed up to it, and when they had just got it cranked up to tear it down, Donnie ran up and said ‘No, it’s cancelled.’

“Another 30 minutes, and it would have been gone,” Johnson said.

But, instead, the town of Goshen was handed the deed Wednesday morning for the building that once stood as the office of TDS Telecom.

“We’re glad to do this for the community because of the landmark it is,” said Donnie Free, market manager for TDS. “They have a lot of good plans for the use of that building.”

Free said the building was purchased by TDS from Goshen Councilman Al Sanders in 1989. While the phone company still provides service to the community, they don’t have an office there anymore.

“It was our business office, but it’s been sitting here idle,” Free said.

Johnson, whose last day in office will be Friday, said this is a project he and the current council have worked toward for about six months.

“It was just such a part of Goshen I hated to see it go,” Johnson said. “I’ve had a real good council for these four years, and this is just one of the many things we’ve accomplished.”

Johnson said the building has been donated to the city, but some $12,000 has been put into it for repairs.

Johnson said he is not sure what the next administration will decide to do with the building, but he had planned to move the mayor and town clerk offices into it.

“The main reasons we bought it were to keep vaults,” Johnson said. “We don’t have a safe over there, and we don’t have anywhere to keep funds.”

Johnson said the building would be more ideal because of its space, and it could increase the capacity for residents to attend council meetings.

Kathleen Ryan, a council member, said the building is something that has served the town for many years.

“There’s just so few historical buildings here who haven’t been torn down,” Ryan said. “I hope the council will appreciate the gift as much as we do.”