Meeting Monday night, the Anderson County Commission voted 16-0 to enter into a purchase agreement with Mike Farley for the building located at 205 Main Street in downtown Clinton for the new home of the Anderson County Senior Center.
The purchase agreement required a $5000 payment from the county to Farley to secure the county’s right of first refusal through September 1st. The $5000 came from funds generated by donations for a new senior center from citizens, businesses and organizations.
The purchase price for the building will be $600,000. Officials said Monday that all sides are hopeful that the sale can be closed before September.
The building measures over 15,000 square feet, more than seven times the space currently occupied by the Senior Center on Edgewood Avenue in Clinton, and includes a full kitchen and 122 parking spots, both of which address pressing problems for the center in its current home.
Farley has turned 205 Main, as the property is known, into a multi-purpose event center, hosting events like holiday parties, class reunions and more. Through the agreement reached this week, the Office on Aging and the Senior Center will continue to host those events to help offset operating costs at the center. Office on Aging Executive Director Cherie Phillips told us this morning that she will likely be in the market for an events coordinator to focus on booking and putting together those events.
The building also includes two new revenue streams for the county in the form of tenants who pay rent for the driving school that is in the part of the building that faces North Main Street and the use of the back parking lot for school buses. The county general fund would reap the benefits of those leases and could see more savings down the line as the facility, once a car dealership, also has a four-bay garage that could be used as the county’s motor vehicle maintenance shop. The county currently pays $975 per month in rent for the current maintenance shop.
A massive storage building on the property could also be used by not only the Senior center, but also by the Election Commission for storage of voting machines. Responding to questions about losing the property tax revenue from the building, officials said that Farley is planning to build a larger building in the city of Clinton that would replace 205 Main on the tax rolls, but that facility will not be a competing events center.
The building has already been reviewed by the city of Clinton and meets all applicable codes, including ADA accessibility.
This morning, Phillips told WYSH that she is grateful to the Commission for its unanimous support of the plan, as well as those who have supported the Senior center in the past and expressed her appreciation for the county’s seniors and pledges to continue to make the center an even better place to spend time.