The People's Tribune

Pike County Commission Changes Tune On Future Of Annex Buildings

It now appears the Pike County Courthouse Annex, located on Main Street in Bowling Green, will remain intact and will even undergo improvements rather than portions of it being taken down along with the three-story building on the corner next to it.

There has been confusion over the future of all the buildings as both the city and the county look at possible solutions. The three-story brick building at the corner of Main and Court Streets is no longer functional. According the to engineer’s report, the structure can not be saved. The building is owned by Gary Rahmeyer but since he has been unwilling to make necessary improvements, the city is now saddled with the possibility of taking it down to protect public safety.

The county’s annex is actually three buildings, one that shares a wall with the Rahmeyer property. The building has flaws, but still functions and houses the Pike County Development Authority (PCDA) and a lot of records.

Presiding Commissioner Chris Gamm attended the Bowling Green Board of Aldermen meeting last week on Monday, Oct. 2. Earlier in the day commissioners and city officials met with contractors in a pre-bid meeting to discuss the buildings and their viability and the possibilities of full/partial demolition.

At the board meeting, Gamm indicated the county was willing to work with the city and possibly remove two of the three buildings that make up the annex. This would also make demolition of the three-story structure easier since as many precautions wouldn’t have to be taken to preserve the adjoining building.

Pike County Commissioner Bill Allen said the engineer’s report was examined last Thursday and members came to a different conclusion.

“If the engineering report came back different it would be one thing but we have a building that’s still structurally-sound. I couldn’t see spending another $100,000 to $150,000 to have it taken down. Then we’d just have a $300,000 empty lot,” Allen told The People’s Tribune in an interview on Friday.

He added that the commission couldn’t see spending money for even partial demolition. He explained that by keeping all three buildings it will keep the heating, cooling and other aspects intact.

The county’s engineer estimates it will cost about $135,000 to make the necessary improvements to the structure. Allen said he thinks it can be done for even less. Improvements include taking care of the roof, sealing the wall (once the three-story building is removed) and removing a structure from the rear of the first building.

“It’s a bad situation for everyone. It’s not been an easy decision to make,” Allen remarked. “We have a property owner who does not want to take responsibility for his own building. The city is in a position they shouldn’t have to be in.”

The city is having bids submitted by at least four contractors on removal of the Rahmeyer building and the old gas company that sits down the road. Contractors will also submit bids for removal of the annex as well for the commission to consider.

Last Thursday the commission voted 2-1 in favor of keeping the annex intact in light of the engineer’s report. Allen and Gamm voted in favor, Justin Sheppard voted against.

The city will review bids at the next board meeting though a decision may not be made at that time on the future of the Rahmeyer and Butler properties.

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