The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Opinion

February 23, 2014

Half-million gamble not paying off

The razing of the former Fred’s discount store last week is just another chapter in the story about the Limestone County Commission’s purchase of a vacant shopping center for more than half a million dollars.

The commission bought the property with the intent of using the space for the Community Corrections Program. The plans were to renovate Fred’s to make office space for the program.

But, lo and behold, the bids came in above the commission’s estimates and that plan was scrapped.

It’s been more than a year since then and there are still no plans on what to do with the seven acres of land on North Jefferson Street.

The commission changed course and bought the former Better Living building on South Jefferson Street to permanently house the court programs. It is also serving as a temporary home for the courts while the courthouse is being renovated.

Meanwhile, the county is still stuck with a $525,000 piece of property that is a shell of a shopping center with a couple buildings and the old Foodland grocery store.

Maybe someone will buy the land and develop it.

Maybe someone will renovate the old Foodland store and put another supermarket there.

Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

Unfortunately, in this age of tight budgets, we can’t afford maybes or empty shopping centers.

It was a half-a-million dollar gamble two years ago and the taxpayers are left still holding the bag.

And there’s no discounting that.

1
Text Only
Opinion
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee