Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part LXV): The law limits what you can do with an old jail

The August 4, 2010 issue of the Newton County Times tells of a quandary for the county judge, the county's chief administrator. He had decided to put that century-old, historic jail (read more here) up for sale with a local real estate company with an asking price of $90,000. The judge then decided to check in with the state's legal authorities, who informed him that because it is a public building, it will have to be sold by auction. Further, the county must accept the highest bid or three-fourths of the property's appraised value. Because the building has been appraised at just $30,000, the county judge and quorum court decided not to put building out for bids. They are unwilling to accept just $22,500 for the property. Meanwhile, another professional appraisal would cost about $3,000. The Justices of the Peace--members of the elected quorum court--agreed: "Let it sit there. It's still an asset."

Other news involves mostly outdoor thrills and spills associated with the county's status as an ecotourism destination. These include news of a man injured in a fall from a bluff and another who drowned in the Buffalo National River in neighboring Searcy County. A third reports the opening of a zip line near the Buffalo National River at Ponca.

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