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County purchases downtown properties

Dan Ponder presents Seminole County Commissioner Shelia Williams the keys to the County’s new Cherry Street and Wiley Avenue properties

In an effort to better serve the residents of Seminole County the Seminole County Commission announces the purchase of downtown properties located on Cherry Street and Wiley Avenue to be used as a courthouse annex. The sale of the properties, previously owned by Dan and Ernest Ponder of Ponder Enterprises and Compass Lake Properties, closed last Wednesday for a sale price of $875,000.

Total funding for the purchase was provided by revenue earmarked for future expansion and generated by the 1% Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax from two of the previous SPLOST collection periods, as well as revenue from the current SPLOST VI.

Seminole County Manager Paula Granger commented, “We are excited about the expanded customer service possibilities, more spacious office accommodations and additional growth opportunities this new property acquisition will provide for all of us here in Seminole County.”

Originally, the Commission had planned to use the SPLOST funds collected for expansion to construct a Courthouse Annex north of the Seminole County Courthouse. However, with the acquisition of this new property downtown, that project has been shifted to plans to construct a landscaped parking facility in the area previously planned for the annex – one which will accommodate Court and overflow parking.

With a targeted relocation date falling in the first week of December, the offices of the Seminole County Commission, County Manager and Clerk, Seminole County Tax Assessors, and Seminole County Code Enforcement, zoning and animal control will move into the more spacious accommodations available in the new Cherry Street offices – the former location of Burke, Worsham and Harrell CPA firm. All other county offices and services will remain in their current location in the Seminole County Courthouse located at 200 South Knox Avenue.

Lessors currently occupying offices within the newly purchased properties on Cherry Street and Wiley Avenue will remain and continue to operate as usual.

Plans for new Lakeside Annex announced

The County Commission has also announced its pandemic-delayed plans for the Seminole County Lakeside Annex, a permanent Seminole County office in the lake area,  located at 7813 Georgia Highway 39, just north of Seminole State Park.

The complex, formerly occupied by Seminole Grill Restaurant, was purchased in 2020 for $262,500.

Bidding procedures are currently in the process of being announced for the project’s phase one plans to transform the facility into a lake area substation for Seminole County Emergency Medical Services and a Lakeside office for the Seminole County Sheriff’s office. Former offices for those services were destroyed by Hurricane Michael in October of 2018.

Additional phases of the project will be to renovate the facility to provide a community room/class room, with kitchen facilities, as well as providing accommodations for the facility to be potentially used as a comfort station location with drive through pick up capabilities that could be available and used during any future disaster.

For comments or questions about the Lakeside Annex, or the county’s new downtown offices, contact the County Manager at 229-524-2878.

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