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(Murray Jordan’s Letter to the Editor: Not yet carried by the newspaper — why?)

Florence County Council just spent $551,443 of taxpayer money for this 1/3 acre … valued at $45,600 on Florence County Assessor’s books.

Florence County Council just bought the land and building at 254 Baroody Street for the purpose of building a new courtroom addition to the current Florence City County Complex on North Irby Street. This new court room annex is necessary to solve the safety problems created by having hundreds of people 11 stories in the air in the current building. The property is the building just east of the Florence Police Department’s fenced yard on Baroody Street and was once a soda bottling plant.

The building is described as being in significantly deteriorated condition and was not carried on the county assessor’s books; therefore the purchase price is based on the value of the land. This property was carried on the Florence County Assessors books valued at $45,600.00.

The Florence County Council paid the outrageous price of $551,443.00 (check # 480580 dated 11/28/11 US funds) for this one third of an acre property.

I am not criticizing that they bought the property to build the new court room annex; I am criticizing the irresponsible paying 12 times more for the property than it is assessed for. Is there something wrong here?

What about the rest of the land purchases “negotiated” by council? The square footage of the land is 15,200 making the land valued at $36.27914 per square foot. This parcel may be the most expensive land in the state of South Carolina. Who would have thought that?

The upside to this is that apparently Downtown Florence is worth much more than we generally thought that it was worth. All we have to do now to increase the downtown property value assessments is to use this sale as the comparable for the purpose of establishing new appraised values for Downtown Florence. There will be no need to revitalize Downtown Florence, just up the property values based on this sale and we will have a geyser of property tax money rolling in.

An unintended secondary effect is that what is referred to by some as the “undesirable element” will be forced out of Downtown Florence because they will not be able to pay these new higher property taxes.

There is no merit pay for county employees anymore and county employees have not received a cost of living raise in four years and budgets have been cut and cut, but Florence County Council can always find money to throw up a wild hog’s ### (rear end). The name of the seller of the property is not the issue, but the obscene purchase price “negotiated” by Council is the issue.

As for those of you who are all talk and do nothing, your perpetual silence confirms your approval of Florence County Council’s actions. You should just sign a blank check and send to Florence County Council and let them fill in what they want to spend. You will find out what they took from you after they cash the check.

I believe that the new annex should be named for General William Wallace Harllee, the Founder of Florence. There is nothing significant named for him and I believe that this is an egregious omission. Also, he died in 1897 and it is not likely any opportunist accusers will come forward seeking fame and fortune.

Remember, government is the only entity that can legally steal from you and they can do it without a gun! They do it with your approval because you voted the culprits into office! The vote by Council to pay $551,443.00 was unanimous.

If you detect anger in my words, you are very perceptive. I am P.O. ed (Properly Outraged).

Murray Jordan
Florence

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