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Munson objects to paying for MLK building

April 12, 2006|by TARA REILLY

HAGERSTON

Washington County Commissioner John C. Munson said the county could save more than $85,000 a year in operating expenses by selling or giving away the Martin Luther King Center on West North Avenue.

The building houses several organizations, including Head Start of Washington County, C SAFE and Children in Need, but no county government offices.

The county has proposed spending $85,300 to maintain the building in fiscal year 2007, including $31,000 in fuel oil, $21,000 in electric costs and $7,000 in building maintenance.

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Munson took issue with the costs.

"Why is the taxpayer paying to clean a building that county government is not using?" Munson said.

He said the county had too many buildings to maintain.

Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said the county already has offered to give the building away for free and pay a group to take it, "but no one wanted it."

Snook said nonprofit groups could not afford the operating costs for the building even if it were given away.

"I can't believe if you give something away for free, that nobody wants it," Munson said after the meeting. "So, it must be a real lemon, right?"

Munson said during the meeting he would prefer that the county have one central complex where all county offices and services are located. He said that would save money.

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