Appraising a move

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A three-man committee has been asked by two Cape Girardeau County commissioners to look at the potential of moving county offices from the Common Pleas Courthouse up the street into the soon-to-be-vacated federal courthouse in Cape Girardeau.

The county is considering acquiring the federal courthouse on Broadway after the new federal courthouse on Independence Street is completed at the end of the year.

Former county commissioner Joe Gambill, Cape Girardeau Planning and Zoning commissioner Harry Rediger and banker Moe Sandfort have been asked to evaluate the two buildings.

Many variables must be considered, among them the costs for utilities and maintenance, adaptability for future uses, the potential for rental revenue and parking and security issues.

The 150-year-old Common Pleas Courthouse and its annex have about a third of the space available in the federal building, which was built in 1967, but the county does not need all the extra space.

Sandfort says the question of whether it makes sense to relocate to the federal courthouse will turn on the relationship between the costs and benefits.

The committee is composed of people long on experience in these matters. All three are accustomed to making sure a deal makes good business sense. That ought to be the bottom line in this decision.

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