COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) — The TaxSlayer Building in Evans is now the property of Columbia County. The Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to buy the property for $6.5 million.
“The whole process was determining if this financially worked because we just weren’t going to spend more taxpayer dollars,” Doug Duncan, the chairman of the Columbia County Commission, says.
The purchase is part of a $19 million project, which will also pay to retrofit the building and renovate the superior courthouse.
The county plans to turn the TaxSlayer Building into a “courthouse annex,” which will house the juvenile court and Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS).
“It creates an environment where they can work together.”
The county was running into issues with the current judicial center. It was too small and couldn’t keep up with demand.
“There’s been population growth in Columbia County. With that comes more need for court services. We’re slammed at the courthouse.”
When the Taxslayer building went on the market, Duncan says it made sense for the county to take it over.
“We were able to cut the renovation of the courthouse down, buy this building, move DFACS into the building as well as the juvenile court. That gave us the ability to separate the juvenile court from the superior court.”