Cass County Commissioners court votes against purchase of building

The Cass County Commissioner’s Court voted to not purchase the building in Atlanta, Texas for the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace and Constable to use as an office and courtroom. 
Precinct 4 Commissioner Darrell Godwin made the motion and Precinct 2 Commissioner seconded the motion but Precinct 1 Commissioner Brett Fitts, Judge Becky Wilbanks and Paul Cothren voted against the purchase.
The court has discussed many times over the past month in commissioner workshop and court sessions about the purchase of a building for the precinct 4 constable and justice of the peace to use as office space. 
The building is located in downtown Atlanta and is located next to Keith Crow Realty on Hiram Street. 
The cost of the building for the county would have been $50,000.
Before the motion or vote was taken on the purchase of the building on Oct. 24 Judge Wilbanks expressed her opinion on the purchase of the building. 
“I would like to say this is something that has been needed for a long time and I do not deny the fact that we need another building for the JP (Justice of the Peace) but I have been clear with Commissioner Godwin on my feelings at this time, and I am not for the Thompson building as it is right now,” said Judge Wilbanks
“It mainly comes down to one point, I feel that building is too large for the people that will use the office in it, two people in a 2100 square foot office space, you know we are trying to condense and consolidate to better use our buildings and I just think we just need to sit back and wait and try to find a more appropriate building for them at this time,” said Judge Wilbanks. 
Commissioner Godwin showed a picture of many cars including a large truck that was at the Precinct 4 JP and Constable’s offices Monday that were there for court.
Commissioner Cothren gave his opinion about the matter before the vote as well. 
“We do need to do something and I too have said the size is huge for two employees sometimes three occasionally,” said Commissioner Cothren. 
Commissioner Godwin voiced his opinion about the purchase of the building that will be for his precinct. 
“I’m not totally happy, I don’t like the layout of the building but I have been searching for five years and this is the cheapest thing and the most efficient thing that I have found, if you get into one of the older buildings downtown you are looking at a lot more, you are looking at parking and it’s not perfect but its good and if we establish the building I am hoping it will be several years down the road there may have to be something done to it but I think it would be really good for the county to establish something in town,” said Commissioner Godwin.
Godwin also added that there was another leak that developed in the Precinct 4 Constable’s office.
Commissioner Borseth gave his opinion and spoke about the research that he had done.
“I just wanted to mention for the record that I went to the appraisal office last week and had printed off all the properties that the owner ID is Cass County and I looked at all of them, barring a few that are very small properties there are no buildings on here that I could see that would work and there I not any property that would not end up costing us more than $50,000 to set up a building on it,” said Commissioner Borseth.
The agenda had an action item for proposals on Christmas lights to be hung on the historical Cass County Courthouse but there were no bids therefore no action was taken.

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