Extension buys former oil company building
Chisholm Trail Extension District is relocating it Marion County office south of the courthouse to the former Shawmar Oil and Gas office at 1116 E Main St., which it is buying with $51,000 from tax money it levied last year as a newly created taxing district.
“That facility is going to give us something we don’t have now — meeting space where we can have classes and do those things that we obviously don’t have room for here,” agent Rickey Roberts said.
The building will need work, Roberts said, but he didn’t detail what was needed, what it might cost taxpayers, or when the project would begin.
“The community will absolutely be able to use it; that is the plan,” he said.
The county, which used to pay part of extension’s costs, no longer does so now that the joint Marion-Dickinson county district has its own 1.714 mill tax.
“The commission was going to charge us rent because it we are a district,” Roberts said. “It seemed to be a better investment than paying rent.”
The district has a lease-purchase agreement for the building, with payments to be $850 a month over 10 years.
“That ultimately is what’s behind it,” he said.
The district started talking about buying a building six months ago.
When Roberts looked at buildings available in Marion, most were retail buildings that would have needed much renovation. The Shawmar building already is converted to offices.
Spare office space will give Dickinson County extension agents room to work when they are in Marion County.
Closing date for the building has not been set, but Roberts said the target is mid-July.
“We don’t know yet on moving day,” he said.
As a government-owned building, the Shawmar building, valued at $72,290 for tax purposes, will become tax exempt.