Five years after leasing space at City Markeplace, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Palm Coast Precinct is moving, this time to what the agency says is a permanent location at 14 Palm Harbor Village Way off Old Kings Road—not far from where it was until 2013.
The county is buying the 4,500 square-foot former Wachovia Bank branch for $875,000, with closing costs pushing the price to $900,000, and renovation costs adding another $100,000. The property is listed for $1.195 million, and has a just market value of $659,000, according to the property appraiser. Selling prices are almost always higher than just market value estimates. The property last sold in 2008 for $550,000. Since it becomes county property, the county, Palm Coast and the school board will lose the property tax revenue, which was nearly $10,000 last year.
The county is using revenue from a half-cent sales tax supplement to buy the building, but will be paid back by the sheriff, in a manner of speaking: the sheriff has budgeted $72,000 a year for rent at City Marketplace. He intends to bump up the line item to $90,000, paying back the county annually. The County Commission ultimately funds the entirety of the sheriff’s budget, so it’s mostly a matter of transfers, but one that, under the arrangement presented Monday, doesn’t entail a substantial increase in costs, and therefore no potential tax increase to pay for it. The county intends to finance the purchase over 12 years.
The sheriff’s office has been renting space somewhere in palm Coast for the last 37 years, a nomadic status Sheriff Rick Staly wants to end.
“I inherited an office space that is not appropriate for the sheriff’s needs,” Staly told the county commission this morning. “It’s not visible to the community, it leaks, it’s just too small, I could go on and on, and besides that, it’s outrageously priced, and I inherited this contract from my predecessor. Fortunately that contract is ending in December, and there’s no way I’m going to renew that, so that started us on a search for a new location.”
When former Sheriff Jim Manfre leased the City Marketplace space, he did so to give the precinct more visibility (it had been on Old Kings Road previously), to double the space to 2,600 square feet, and to cut rental costs in half, to $2,000 a month, fees included. But monthly rent and fee costs quickly rose by $1,000, then rose again, so that current costs are nearly $5,000 a month (rent and fees), and were set to rise again after December.
The acquisition of the building on Palm Harbor Village Way means that in the last four years, the sheriff has moved into a new jail, a new operations center (both in Bunnell) and its own Palm Coast precinct.
“It’s a better vision, it gives us a real footprint in what’s now known as District 2 for the City of Palm Coast, and instead of paying rent, the county will actually own a structure that should appreciate in value,” Staly said.
The county plans to use in-house labor to renovate the building. The commission approved the purchase unanimously.
Staly was appearing before the commission moments before heading back to the new jail, which today he re-named after Sheriff Perry Hall, the county’s second elected sheriff who served only between 1925 and 1927: he was killed during a raid of a liquor operation.
Hall’s brief biographical sketch on the sheriff’s website sums up the incident: “Sheriff Hall was just forty-one years old when he entered a shack alone attempting to raid an illegal liquor operation in a rural settlement known as Roy on August 21, 1927 in a swampy area in the northwest corner of Flagler County. During the raid Sheriff Hall ordered the suspect to raise his hands but instead the suspect struck Sheriff Hall on the head with a liquor bottle. A deputy was nearby and rushed to the shack when he heard about the attack. Sheriff Hall died of his injuries less than a day later, never regaining consciousness. The suspect, Jim Smith, then escaped back to his former residence in Brookfield, Georgia.” Smith was killed three weeks later as a posse was chasing him.
Great, so I should expect a property tax increase to accommodate for the lost 10k in tax revenue for the zero kids I have to not attend school. I think taxes should reflect the circumstance – all those people with kids should pay more than me. It’s only fair since they receive more federal tax breaks than I do.
Just the truth says
Instead of Netts getting his new city hall, they should have funded a new location to the Sheriffs Department.
Island Walk is not a visible enough place for police presence. This is a bad move and a move that is not necessary. If the county continues to have revenue to keep buying real estate than that is the sign they are taxing us too much! The county should not be in the real estate business. We didn’t just spend nearly 100 million on a city hall, rec center, GSB, Courhouse, Sheriff Operations Center, Emergency Management, improvements to Sheriff’s facility on Justice Lane to justify this purchase and move. We have elected officials who are out of control and fail to realize this is not Duval or Orange County that they are trying to keep up with. This county administrator needs to go as does the commissioner who approve this madness! The best time to start is now—DO NOT REELECT COMMISSIONER NATE MCLAUGHLIN, DAVID SULLIVAN OR GREG HANSEN. If you do, Coffey will remain, and the madness will continue. Coffey is as bad, if not worse than Landon and he needs to go!
They “found” $ for the new City Hall and the new Community Center, so they were “free”. Keep looking in drawers and closets.
Madness? I’m very happy to have the Sheriffs office at this location, which for now seems to serve the largest retail area in the county. Anonymous, the rec center and city hall are city projects. You are mixing up your projects here as well as your tax revenue.
We’re growing. Sheesh!
Did I miss something here? Isn’t this move to SAVE MONEY?
I love you, Sheriff Staly, and the job you are doing for Palm Coast.
Bad move, not enough parking. I’ve counted as many as 23 Sherrif vehicles in the current parking lot! Where will they park their tanks, ABC’s, swamp buggies, etc.?
Well said Anonymous!