Douglas County Commission authorizes land acquisition

Douglas County’s future Public Works facility has a tentative new home.

County commissioners Wednesday voted unanimously to authorize the execution of a contract with PDO Investors for the purchase of 34 acres of land near Douglas County Jail, 3601 E. 25th St.

The deal will allow the county to create a headquarters of sorts for its public works operations and will provide it with enough space to grow. It will also give Lawrence Community Shelter the opportunity to relocate on nearby land.

The county will use state gas tax reimbursements to cover the $1.196 million price tag for the property. Two adjacent properties were also sought by the county as part of the original proposal, though only one offer has been made in that regard. Commissioners authorized an offer for a parcel of land owned by Printing Solutions in the Franklin Business Park. The acquisition of that property would get the county closer to its desired 40-acre goal for the new facilities.

The deal is set to be closed today, with county officials and the necessary property owners expected to complete the sale. There is no immediate plan to develop the property, though county leaders will be working toward planning and developing a timeline for the project.

Should the homeless shelter choose to relocate near the county jail, a move made possible by the county’s majority property ownership, its timeline would not be as lenient. The shelter has pending grant deadlines set to expire this fall.