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Dexter to sell municipal building to fire district for $340,000

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DEXTER — The Board of Trustees agreed Tuesday to sell the village municipal building for $340,000 to the Brownville Joint Fire District, enabling the Dexter Volunteer Fire Department to remain there.

The sale also will allow the village to proceed with its plan to build its new office building on property it owns on Liberty Street, Mayor James R. Eves said. The village hopes to break ground on the project in the spring so that employees can move in next fall.

The project is expected to cost in the range of $500,000 to $600,000.

The two parties started negotiating the sale in the spring, and for a time, the village considered selling the building to an outside party. The district’s original bid of $187,000 for the building in March was rejected.

The building is assessed by Jefferson County at $538,000, Mr. Eves said, and the village needed to sell it for enough to finance the construction of its new office building. Eventually, the board was willing to negotiate the price down with the fire district.

“We weren’t looking for a huge profit, but a fair market value,” Mr. Eves said. “The fire district is giving us what we feel is a fair and equitable price.”

William K. Archer, chairman of the joint fire district’s board, said the board now will decide how space in the building will be managed. Its community room will continue to be available for residents.

“We would have liked to pay less for the building, but we’re pleased the process is completed,” Mr. Archer said. “The fire district will monitor the community’s use of the building, and we’ll need to provide space for a new firetruck that will be purchased.”

The village leases the building’s five truck bays for $1 a year to the Dexter Fire Department, which pays for its own utilities. The department has about 30 volunteers.

The village’s planned 3,500-square-foot building will include four offices, an archive room, a multipurpose room and a basement.

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