In May, Barry County Transit Manager Bill Voigt asked the Barry County Commissioners for permission for improvements to the transit facility. He told of plans for 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, all to come from transit funds.
However, the commission had just started planning for a new jail and needed an appraisal of the property the transit shares with the jail before they could move ahead, and tabled his request.
Appraiser John A. Meyers Wednesday recommended the county keep the transit where it is, provide it with more parking space and demolish the jail and sell that property for commercial development.
"I am very impressed with the comprehensive appraisal done by John A. Meyer Appraisal Company,” Voigt said. “We agree with his finding as to the value of the transit property and his recommendation to the Barry County Board of Commissioners that our facility remain here. Mr. Meyer's assertion that our facility is a desirable utilization of the property has us looking to future facility improvements.
“Special recognition goes to our County Administrator Michael Brown for guiding Mr. Meyer through the process. I speak for all transit employees in thanking Transportation Board members Hoot Gibson, Jon Smelker and Shawn Winters for their vision and insight.
“We hope to gain approval of the commission to begin renovations to our facility at no additional cost to our taxpayers." Commissioner Smelker asked the commission for immediate consideration of the transit planned improvements.