The former Bank of America drive thru may soon be history clearing way for much needed downtown Cleburne parking.
The Johnson County Commissioners Court, during their Monday meeting, approved abatement of the structure at a cost of about $6,000.
Demolition appears a given though no final approval has been made.
The drive thru facility occupies county-owned land at the corner of West Chambers and South Mill streets. Bank of America previously leased that and part of the ground floor of the Annex Building across the street, which the county also owns.
Once the drive thru structures are abated bids will be solicited for their demolition, County Commissioner Rick Bailey said.
Commissioners said they hope that Cleburne city officials will share costs on the demolition and construction of the parking lot.
Cleburne City Manager Steve Polasek on Tuesday said that no official decision has been made on the city's part, but the issue will likely be discussed during the next Cleburne City Council meeting.
“Since those are our buildings and our responsibility, we will pay the abatement costs,” Bailey said.
The parking lot will benefit the county. The tax assessor/collector’s office and other county offices occupy the Annex Building. It will also benefit Cleburne by supplying additional parking for the downtown area.
Once the structures are abated, bids are taken and details are worked out with the city commissioners will vote as to whether or not to accept the bids.
Commissioners also approved a remodel of another county owned building at 109 W. Chambers St. The building will serve as the new home of the Johnson County AgriLife Extension Office moving them from their current, overcrowded, office space on the third floor of the Annex Building.
Commissioners had already budgeted $100,000 for the remodel and the move. County Commissioner Larry Woolley said he’s convinced the project can be done for much less.
“I was opposed to this originally,” County Judge Roger Harmon said. “But if it can stay within that budget I don’t have a problem with it.”
Harmon said his earlier opposition springs from the fact that the county is in the process of spending substantial money to renovate the Burleson Sub-Courthouse and may soon tackle an remodel of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
Job well done
County Clerk Becky Ivey joined commissioners in wishing Nedia Stevenson well in her retirement. Stevenson worked eight years with the county.
Ivey described Stevenson as the “light of the office” and a friend who will be missed. Ivey said the presence of several members of Stevenson’s family and members of her church goes a long way toward illustrating what kind of person Stevenson is.
Stevenson for her part thanked Ivey, her co-workers, her husband and the members of her church family.
“I’ve enjoyed the opportunities and the encouragement I’ve received from all of you,” Stevenson said.