ALBION — Noble County Commissioners will spend all day Thursday taking a second look at possible floor plans for a new county annex building and discussing them with department heads.
The commissioners hosted a similar meeting back in September to discuss a first draft of how individual offices in the proposed $15 million annex would be laid out, getting feedback from county employees about any suggestions they had or issues they could foresee from the initial layout.
Plans for the annex, which is being designed by American Structurepoint, will be back on Thursday for a second look.
“American Structurepoint will be coming up for the next set of design review meetings. We will be meeting with specific department heads and department head groups to confirm programs, room layouts and requirements for each space,” said Noble County Highway Engineer Zack Smith, who is helping to manage the annex design, in an email to department heads earlier this month.
The county is moving forward with the annex project with a goal of bringing all of the county departments under two roofs — the annex and the Noble County Courthouse. Currently, county offices are spread out across more than a half-dozen locations in Albion.
In order to build the annex, the county will raze the current Noble County Prosecutor’s Office and build the new structure on the same site. The county will then also do some renovation work to the courthouse.
The project is estimated to cost about $15 million, with the county opting to fund that cost with a 20-year property tax bond. The estimated tax impact of that project is around $10 per year for the average homeowner, while farmers and businesses can expect to pay about $31 more per $100,000 of assessed value.
If the county is able to keep the project under that $15 million price tag, the project wouldn’t be eligible for a countywide referendum on the bond debt.