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County spends $17, 551 on portable classroom
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Warren County is the new owner of a portable classroom that was used at the old Morrison School. The county bid $17,551 on the building and was the lone bidder in a sealed bid auction.
The portable classroom is approximately 24 feet wide by 40 feet long and has heat and air. It had been for sale on the auction website on two separate occasions but did not sell as the reserve price set by the school system was not met.
When bidding on the portables ended the second time at $11,777 and did not meet the reserve bid, the county’s Jail Oversight Committee voted to purchase the building for $12,000.
“We felt like that was a good deal for the county to have it if we need it down the road,” said County Executive John Pelham.
Shortly after the committee voted to purchase the portable, Director of Schools Bobby Cox was contacted by a man in Cookeville who offered $15,000. Cox told the man he thought his offer would be accepted, but it must first be approved by the county’s Financial Management Committee.
Before Cox could bring the offer to the Financial Management Committee, another man walked into Pelham’s office and said he wanted to buy the portable. Pelham said a bid was on the table, but did not disclose the amount.
The man then called Cox who told him there was a bid pending for $15,000. The man then offered $17,050 for the building before the first bid went to committee.
Commissioner Wayne Copeland felt the county should keep the building as the jail and the courthouse both need extra space. The jail needs storage space and could use the building as a classroom there because a grant was received where it will be teaching inmates through the Technology Center. The courthouse needs the building for storage of documents and paperwork.
“My opinion is if we need it, we should keep it,” said Copeland. “I think the county’s concerns should come first. It would be crazy for the county to sell this then go buy something else. To pay $17,000 is cheap. I mean, it’s here. If the county needs it, I think we should get it. I think we should pay $17,000 and keep it in the county. That is my opinion.”
The county’s Financial Management Committee voted to hold a sealed auction bid. The county placed the only bid on the portable which was $17,551.
Linda Hillis, director of accounts for the county, said, “I don’t know the plans for the building at this point. I’m sure it will probably be for storage but I’m not sure where.”