On Day of Closing, County Hits Brakes on Land Purchase

Deal Was to Pay $240,000 for Less Than Two Acres Next to Jail

Fayette County Commissioners put a hold on a deal to purchase about two acres of land for future expansion of the county jail.

Commissioners authorized former County Judge Ed Janecka to negotiate the purchase of the land in October. Janecka retired in December. That deal involved a purchase price of $240,000 for the 1.923 acre property, which is located between the jail and Back Porch Barbecue on US 77.

At a meeting on Monday, Jan. 14, the Commissioner were set to authorize the new county judge, Joe Weber, to sign a check for the property with the property closing to follow the meeting.

“I’m fairly new to this, and the only thing I know about this purchase is four documents that were emailed to me late Friday afternoon,” Weber said. “I’m not familiar with the property. I think I know where it is, but I have not walked the ground. I have not even sat down with our sheriff to discuss his intentions, his requirements and needs. I don’t know how it was negotiated or any of that.”

The land purchase was not included in the 2019 budget, as the opportunity to purchase the property came up in December after Commissioners finalized this year’s budget. Moreover, Weber said the County may have to spend up to $300,000 in matching funds to receive federal and state disaster funding for Hurricane Harvey damages.

 

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Fayette County Record

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