In the deal, Cherokee County will trade the property where the Anna Crawford Children’s Center sits at the Canton-Cherokee Industrial Park for a facility on Highway 92 in Woodstock, which Universal Alloy will be purchasing.
The Anna Crawford Children’s Center is a child abuse and prevention resource for children and parents in the county.
County Manager Jerry Cooper said during the meeting Tuesday night that Universal Alloy, which is located across the street from the nonprofit’s present location, wants to use the property to expand its operations.
The possibility of the building swap has been in the works for some time, Cooper said.
Originally, Cooper said, Cherokee County tried to purchase the building on Highway 92 and complete the swap itself, but was outbid by a third party.
Now, Universal Alloy will purchase the property from the third party and trade it for the nonprofit’s facility in the Canton-Cherokee Industrial Park.
Cooper said the process may be a bit smoother as a result.
“This just keeps us out of it,” he said after the meeting. “There’s no need for us to do a real estate transaction. Universal Alloy’s willing to do it.”
Cooper said he was glad to see the deal nearing an end.
“I think it’s a win-win for Universal Alloy and the county, (with) no money out of our pocket,” he said. “Anna Crawford Children’s Center will provide the same level of service at a different location. Universal Alloy will be able to expand their facilities.”
Commissioner Harry Johnston agreed that if the deal goes through all parties will benefit.
“Universal Alloy is one of the businesses in Cherokee County we’re most proud of, and we certainly want them to be able to continue to expand,” Johnston said. “They need this site to expand. Not only that, but the facility we’ll be getting will be more suitable and a better location for this purpose than the one we’re giving up.”
Cooper said the building on Highway 92 is about 1,200 square feet larger than the Anna Crawford Children’s Center’s current location in Canton and is “actually more functional” for their operations.
The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously — with Commissioner Jason Nelms absent — to sign onto the agreement with the conditions that the process must adhere to Housing and Urban Development regulations.
The two buildings also must be appraised to determine if they are of comparable value. If the building on Highway 92 turns out to be worth less than the county’s property in Canton, Cooper said the county will have to reimburse the difference.
On top of these stipulations, Cooper said the Board of Commissioners will be required to conduct a public hearing and provide a 30-day public comment period, because grants from HUD and SPLOST were used to construct the shelter’s location.
A date for the public hearing had not been scheduled.
During the Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, commissioners also:
• Had a public hearing on upcoming potential changes to the county’s millage rate. No one from the public spoke at the hearing. The board is considering several different configurations of the millage rate but some commissioners have openly supported decreasing the rate by .06 mills to offset recent increases in property values. The board will consider adopting a new rate at its meeting July 16.
• Voted unanimously — with Commissioner Jason Nelms absent — to accept $59,366 in insurance reimbursements resulting from car accidents with county property. Cooper said county employees were not at fault in any of the incidents, which include an accident with a county fire truck.
• Unanimously approved paying $75,515 for an emergency generator system at the Cherokee County Fire Training Complex.
• Voted unanimously to approve a contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation in the amount of $539,775 for the annual operation of the Cherokee Area Transportation System. Cooper said the county’s portion of this amount is $269,888, or 50 percent.
• Unanimously approved the purchase of a water transportation system for the fire department in the amount of $113,017.