Eight Delaware County agencies could move in whole or in part to the building that currently houses the north campus of the Delaware Area Career Center, according to a plan unveiled this month.
Delaware County's commissioners Oct. 12 voted to adopt a new master plan for the county's facilities, which included recommendations for the DACC campus off state Route 521 in Brown Township. The commissioners in July agreed to buy the 64-acre site for $1.77 million.
According to the plan, the county agencies that could move into the site after students move out and renovations are completed include:
* the administrative offices of the county sheriff
* the code compliance department
* the county dog shelter
* the county engineer
* the facilities management department
* Delaware County Job and Family Services
* Delaware County Regional Planning Commission
* Delaware County Regional Sewer District.
The county may take possession of the campus as soon as August 2019, when all DACC students are scheduled to move into the center's expanded south campus off U.S. Route 23 in Liberty Township.
The facilities plan also lays out potential tenants of the county's historic courthouse building at 91 N. Sandusky St. after planned renovations are completed. The structure, which was constructed in the 1860s, eventually could house the commissioners, the Delaware County Veterans Service Commission and the county's economic development and human resources departments.
County Commissioner Gary Merrell said he thinks the plan will help lead to "a good result" for county taxpayers.
"We've tried to be as fiscally responsible as possible to prepare our county for the growth it has not only had but will have," he said. "I feel very good about where we've gone with this."
Merrell said he thinks the plan to continue using the old courthouse makes more sense than mothballing the historic structure.
"I think we all realize the courthouse needs to be an active building, a functional building (and) not just a monument," he said.
The county will accept statements of qualifications from firms interested in providing design services for the courthouse-renovation project until Nov. 14.
Operations currently housed at the historic courthouse -- including the court of common pleas and clerk of courts -- will move across the street to the new court complex, which is set for completion in November.
The plan also recommends the county sell structures it owns at 109, 115 and 149 N. Sandusky St., 1405 U.S. Route 23 N., 50 Channing St. and 4781 County Home Road as part of its consolidation effort. The county projects the sales could raise about $5.5 million -- a quarter of the approximately $22 million it expects to spend on its renovation and relocation projects.
Merrell said getting those properties on the market and back into the hands of private owners is a fiscally responsible step.
"We should not own one building more than we need to do the job that we need to do," he said.
Commissioner Jeff Benton said he agreed with his colleague that the consolidation and relocation effort makes sense for county officials and taxpayers.
"We will be more efficient," he said. "We're going to have six fewer locations to maintain."
Benton said he also thinks the projects will make the county more "customer-friendly" by grouping related services together.
While Merrell praised the plan, he noted its recommendations are not set in stone.
"This is a guideline. This is a road map. This is not a final product," he said.