Leon County Expresses Interest in Purchasing Community Center

The people of Fort Braden say their community center is the heart of their community.

Over the last 10 years Leon County has been investing time and money into this converted community center, using it for various programs.

"The county would like to own that building. We are renting it with only one more option to lease it again,” says Jane Sauls, Leon County Commission Chair.

The county rents the building from the School Board because the building was once a school. The county requested the center be turned over to its control, with a Reverter Clause, but were told no because the building may be used for something else.

"Apparently there are School Board members who didn't know we wanted to own the building, but hopefully this will all work out,” Sauls explains.

The School Board says turning the center over is a possibility, but it wants a chance to mull it over.

"We just need to take a look at our fiscal plan. Maybe we could work something out, but it was unfair to make the School Board make a decision when we haven't had a chance to discuss it,” explains Leon County School Board member Dee Crumpler.

The county says the rent has been more than fair, about $1 a year, but it would still like to secure the future of the center utilized by so many Fort Braden residents.

The lease deal between the county and the School Board will end in March 2005 and the county has the option to lease it one more time, but for only three years at $1 per year.