The new administrative offices for Macon County could move a step closer to reality after the Lafayette City Council’s Tuesday meeting.
The city has already agreed to sell to the county a 10-acre property near the Winding Stairs Nature Trail that would presumably hold the new administrative offices once the building is built.
The council was expected to approve at the Tuesday night meeting to sell the county two additional acres that adjoin the current 10 acres.
“The council voted to sell the county 10 acres for them to build a building and move the administrative offices out of the court house. I told Mayor (Steve) Jones I’d go back before the council sell an addition two acres that adjoins this,” Lafayette Mayor Jerry Wilmore said.
The price to purchase the two acres would be $41,000 total, the same price per acre that the original 10 acres was sold for by the city to the county.
Jones indicated that the two additional acres that the county could use the two additional acres to allow for any future growth to any building constructed there.
“We would need the additional room for future growth,” Jones told the Macon County Times.
Of course, the potential move of the county administration building from the courthouse on the square to a location on Highway 52 is one that is not without some opposition from those who want to keep the courthouse and downtown area viable by having it remain the heart of the square area.
But Wilmore sees the proposed move as a win for both Macon County and the City of Lafayette.
“I was born and raised in this town, I’m 66 years old. I remember the court house, and I understand that there’s a lot of people that don’t want to do away with courthouse,” Wilmore said. “But there are 25 employees that work at the courthouse, and that is 25 parking spaces being taken up from local businesses. My thinking is if they can get it out there on the Nature Trail Lane, it would open up those parking spots for the businesses on the square.”
Additionally, once the administrative building is constructed, it would mean that the road to the Winding Stairs Nature Trail would be paced by the city, which would allow for future growth of the city-owned park.
“They would widen the road to three lanes there and pave it, which would help Winding Stairs tremendously,” Wilmore said. “To me, that’s a win-win for the county and the city.”