The Ashley County Quorum Court approved Feb. 9 the purchase of a new county building during its regular monthly meeting. 

The building, previously known as the TruValue building, has been a topic of discussion in recent months. 

In January, the court passed a motion to allow the county to purchase if the seller would agree to the purchase price of $285,000 with no interest if the county paid the full amount over a five-year period. 

Justice Carlton Lawrence told the court that the county needed to purchase or lease something to store all of the new voting equipment in. While shopping for that, county officials came across the offer for the TruValue building, which already borders county property, specifically the county yard.

After discussing the benefits of no interest as well as the property already bordering county property, last month the justices voted to allow County Judge Jim Hudson to discuss the purchase.

During their monthly meeting Tuesday, the justices approved an ordinance to transfer money to make the purchase. There was discussion prior to the approval.

The issues discussed didn’t involve the purchase itself, but rather the funding. Justice Ronnie Wheeler said he was concerned about the purchase being made from the road fund. He also questioned how the property could be used if the money was used from the road fund. 

Though the new building will be used for storage of the county road equipment and as an extension of the county yard, the county also plans to use the building for multiple things, including storage of the new voting equipment and other things that may not be directly connected to the county road department. Hudson said that he would meet with auditors and find out if there would be a problem.

Wheeler asked that the answer be provided in writing to the court. 

“As long as it comes back to the road fund, I don’t think they are going to have any problem with it,” Hudson said. “If I understand it correctly,” Hudson said.

In other news, the courthouse’s communications systems are now completely fiber optic.

Hudson said that the broadband work within the City of Hamburg is finished and that they will start installing it into the businesses and homes in the area, with the Ashley County Sheriff’s Department and jail being at the top of the list.

Justice Jeff Langley said the county was able to find three trucks to purchase for the sheriff’s office within the $107,000 the court had previously approved for the purchase. 

Langley said they found the trucks for a total of $79,000, and that in order to get them ready for the road and equipped with everything the sheriff’s office needs, it will cost approximately $5,000 per truck.