County buys former Richwood Bank building

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Union County officials have reached an agreement to purchase the Richwood Bank building at 249, W. Fifth St. Officials said the county needs are expanding and they need the additional space to accommodate those needs. A space study is underway to determine how best to use the building.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Mac Cordell)
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Could be new home for office of prosecutor
Union County is finalizing plans to purchase the former Richwood Bank building in Marysville.
The Union County Commissioners have signed an agreement to purchase the building at 249 W. Fifth St., for $440,000.
“I think everyone is happy with the agreement,” Union County Commissioner Gary Lee said.
The commissioners said they are “grateful to the bank board for their thoughtfulness.”
“We will look to repurpose that building,” Lee said. “It is a usable building and I think we have a long history of taking existing buildings and trying to repurpose them for what we need to do.”
Officials said the closing will occur before the end of October.
What happens after that, is still in doubt, officials said.
“We are in the process of a space study for the court house and the justice center,” Lee said. “That will be thrown into the mix to see how to best use, not only the Richwood Bank building, but all of the courthouse and justice center.”
Lee said he knows he has been saying it for years, but he feels the county will need to add another judge “in the near future.”
Officials said the addition of the Richwood Bank building will delay the study results. Lee said the study was started before the commissioners decided to buy the building so it originally did not take that space into consideration.
“They had to go back and reassess what their options would be for us,” Lee said.
Officials said that while the space study is ongoing, it seems likely the prosecutor’s office will move into the space.
“I think we are anticipating that we will do a remodel and possible expansion when we are taking off that drive thru” said Lee.
Officials do not have a cost estimate on the renovations. In 2013, the county paid almost $54,000 to remodel the entrance of the prosecutor’s office and erect temporary offices.
“We are waiting for our engineer to come back to us,” Lee said.
While nothing has been finalized, officials said they also feel confident they know the future of an ally between the courthouse and the Richwood Bank building that connects Fifth and Sixth streets.
“As far as the ally goes, it stays” Stolte said.
Officials said one or both drive thrus and their entrances could be closed.
“We think it would be good for the flow of traffic, to eliminate those drive thrus, when you have access from a public drive,” Stolte said.
The building became available recently as Richwood Bank moved into a newly constructed facility on east Fifth Street.
“Sometimes you only get one shot at a property,” said Hall.
Lee said the commissioners have a vision for a county campus and expansion is necessary.
“We just have to make sure we have space for five years, 10 years, 25 years, 100 years down the road,” Stolte said.
He added, “It’s there. It’s available. If we don’t buy it now, it might not be available again.”



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