Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Old Office Annex, Now Empty, Could Be Sold

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Old Office Annex, Now Empty, Could Be Sold

Article excerpt

Byline: AMELIA A. HART

FERNANDINA BEACH -- The Nassau County Annex on 14th Street, once part of a contentious debate between Fernandina Beach and Nassau County, is on the verge of becoming a moot point.

In a Joint Local Planning Agency meeting Monday, Fernandina Beach and Nassau County commissioners agreed to discuss a new settlement agreement to allow the county to sell the site of the 14th Street annex.

The agreement stems from a 1998 suit brought by Fernandina Beach over county plans to build a new courthouse in Yulee. The agreement obligates the county to raze the 14th Street annex and build a new 10,000-square-foot facility to house the "primary" offices of the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections, Tax Collector and Property Appraiser in Fernandina Beach.

The annex housed those three county constitutional offices, as well as Nassau County Fire Rescue and Emergency Management, for many years.

All those departments have moved to bigger offices in the former temporary courthouse in Yulee.

The three constitutional officers also have offices in the Historic Nassau County Courthouse, where, they say, they're offering the same services they used to provide in the annex.

With those new locations, county officials say a new annex is no longer needed, and it would be in the best financial interest of Fernandina Beach and Nassau County to change the original settlement.

County officials want to sell the 14th Street property and use the money to help purchase a multi-million dollar public safety radio system.

The revised agreement also would let Fernandina Beach off the hook for the $1 million the city agreed to contribute toward building a new facility at the annex site.

In the original settlement agreement, Nassau County officials agreed to keep the county's principal courthouse -- as well as the main offices of the constitutional officers -- in Fernandina Beach, while still moving ahead with plans to build a judicial "annex" in Yulee. …

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