Rock Building sold

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Pike County Commission voted 5-1 Monday night to sell the Pike Activities Building or the Rock Building to Charlie Bundy of Goshen. Bundy was the sole bidder for the structure that arguably has historic significance to the county.

Commissioner Homer Wright cast the dissenting vote.

The sale is conditional, however, on the verification of case law by commission attorney Allen Jones.

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Prior to the vote Jones addressed the question as to the legality of the acceptance of the $60,000 bid for the building, which was less than the certified appraised value of $110,000.

Jones said the private sale of real estate by a governmental agency must be in at least the amount of the certified appraised value. However, the sealed bid sale qualified as a public sale, therefore, the public set the market value and the building could be sold for less than the appraised value.

Once Jones gives the commission the green light, the deed will be drawn up and the sale will be finalized.

However, Commissioner Robin Sullivan said the Pike County Commission and other county agencies will be responsible for removing items belonging to them from the building.

Bundy said he was pleased with the vote and did not take Wright’s dissenting vote personally.

Wright had said in an earlier interview that he had hoped the bid would be higher. Wright has been a vocal advocate for the preservation of the historic “Rock.”

Bundy addressed the commission during its work session and said that he thought his bid was a “fair amount” for the building and reminded the commissioners that he was the only bidder.

Bundy said he no intentions of tearing the building down.

“If the building was demolished, the vibrations could damage the streets, the sewer line and buildings around it,” he said. “I definitely plan to preserve the building.”

He said he has no firm dollar amount on the cost of his initial plans to clean out the building and put a roof on it.

“My plan is definitely to preserve the building,” he said. “But, if for some reason I have to sell it, it will be to someone who will preserve it. I will not sell it otherwise.”

Sherry Helms, who has led a two-year grassroots effort to preserve the Rock Building, said, if the commission was going to sell the building, she was happy with the sale to Bundy.

“He plans to preserve the Rock Building and that’s what I hope he can and will do,” she said. “It has historical significance for the entire county. And, it needs to be preserved. I want to thank Commissioner Homer Wright for his vote for the preservation of a historic county structure.”

Commission Chairman Joey Jackson said he would ask the commission to petition the State Legislature to repeal a 2003 resolution that set fees to implement electronic record imaging in the county’s probate office.

“The imaging of the records has been complete and we need to take this tax burden off our citizens, Jackson said.

In other business, Timothy Tillery was approved as part-time, temporary worker with the county road department.

County Administrator Harry Sanders reported a discount on the county’s workers’ compensation insurance that will be a cost savings and will help provide safer working conditions.

The commission approved an update of the Hazardous Mitigation Plan grant with the county’s match at $5,861.