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Thomasville neighbors concerned with latest city council proposal

Thomasville City Council considering turning downtown building into office space
Posted at 5:45 PM, Sep 14, 2023
  • The city is deliberating on whether to use a downtown building, with a 5 year lease, as a temporary office space.
  • Thomasville residents are concerned about where the money to pay for this will come from and taking away commercial real estate from downtown.
  • Check out the video above to find out what residents had to says.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT

"It really doesn't make a lot of sense to me. That area is prime commercial real estate for shops," said Sam Link.

The city is considering leasing a downtown building, on W Jackson Street, for office space.

The building has been on the market for the past 2 months. It was formally used as a commercial property like most of downtown's area.

Sam Link is one of many community members who spoke at Monday's City Council meeting.

Link feels the building should be used for retail with the sales tax being pumped back into the city.

"The last time I checked office buildings do not generate any tax dollars— sales tax," said Link.

The city tells me their current municipal auditorium needs some repairs and that they need a temporary workplace in the meantime. That's why the city is considering leasing the building despite the owner of the property asking for a 5-year lease.

"Have you fully thought out the cost of taking on the long-term commitment given the upcoming discussions around the budget and trying to avoid a millage increase or utility increases," said Audrey Lender.

It was just a few weeks ago when the city decided to postpone its vote about increasing property taxes as they continue to review their budget and give residents more time to prepare.

Some neighbors however believe leasing the space could be a good thing.

"It's sitting there doing nothing. We have enough vacant buildings doing nothing and it's actually something that's needed. So why not use it for something that's needed," said Leon Smith.

While others worry this latest idea could be the beginning of change.

"Thank you again and I ask that you table this tonight," said Link.

The City Council will pick this issue back up at its next city council meeting on the September 25th.