Delaware County Commissioners have approved a legal notice for sale and the extension of an invitation for bids on Delaware County’s historic jail and former sheriff’s home located at 20 W. Central Ave., Delaware. The property had originally been placed on the market in February, but the board rejected all bids in May to revise the bidding criteria.
“Based on the input from the board, the invitation to bid and the bid specification has been adjusted, revised, and ready to go back out to bid,” Jon Melvin, facilities director, told the commissioners in their regularly scheduled meeting July 19. “The new bid opening date will be Aug. 24.”
Commissioner Gary Merrell emphasized that the building is a large part of Delaware County’s history and that it’s important the structure remains as close to the original facade as possible.
“Whatever direction it takes, it’s important to us,” he said.
Melvin told The Gazette in May that only two bids had been received, the highest being a $156,000 bid from Delaware-based attorneys Michael Cox and Nick Mango
After the bids were rejected, Cox and Mango said they were still interested in purchasing the historic jail for their law offices, but they would need to wait to see what the new criteria was before entering a new bid.
The second bid was for $10,000 from Roxanne Amidon, owner of Amidonian on West Winter Street, Delaware.
Aric Hochstettler, assistant prosecuting attorney, told the commissioners in May that the recommendation was to reject the bids and redo the criteria to include everything that had come forward since the original publication of the notice.
“When the advertisement was put together, it was just for a price. Both bidders that have responded have provided additional information that the commissioners would like to take into account but are not in the position legally to negotiate on unannounced criteria,” he said.
Commissioner Jeff Benton also agreed with rejecting the bids and redefining the process in May: “I also want to reiterate that we really do want to protect the building, as well as price and use, and so on,” he said at the time.
The building was constructed in 1878 at a cost of $25,845. The first jail was a 12-by-24 log cabin built in 1814, and a second jail was constructed in 1850. The historic jail now up for sale was the third jail constructed for the county.
Currently, the building houses the law library and the office of the Ohio Fifth District Court of Appeals. Both will move to the historic courthouse once it has been renovated.
The purchase will be “negotiated with the highest responsible bidder,” and the commissioners again “reserve the right to reject any and all bids and to waive any irregularities or informalities.”
For complete details, an Invitation to Bid Packet can be found at https://co.delaware.oh.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Old-Jail-ITB-AIH-FINAL-7-18-18.pdf.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.