Barry County Commissioners have committed to replacing the aging Barry County Jail. One of the first steps was to find the market value of the jail and Barry County Transit property.
Appraiser John A. Meyers, from the John A. Meyers Appraisal Company in Grand Rapids, gave a report on his inspection and appraisal of the property at 1212 West State Street Wednesday. He said the market value of the Barry County Transit on 1.9 acres, is $700,000 and the nine acres the Barry County Jail sits on is valued at $1,150,000. That figure assumes the jail building is gone and the land vacant.
Meyers recommendation for the highest and best use for the properties was to keep the transit, demolish the present jail and bring commercial develop to everything east of the transit building.
During discussion, making the street into a cul-de-sac and keeping as much frontage as possible to add viability for commercial development, was talked about.
Meyers said there are no significant environmental concerns with the property and the site has a good location. His fee for the appraisal and presentation was $3,450. The recommendation will likely be appreciated by transit Manager Bill Voigt.
In May, he requested approval of a 2,950 square foot addition to the bus garage, a 1,160 square foot addition to the dispatch center and renovation of existing office space for a total cost of $1 million, to come from transit funds. His proposal was tabled pending an appraisal. It will be brought up or consideration again at Commissioner Jon Smelker’s request.
The commission will continue planning for a new jail, using the committee of the whole format.