York County considers sites for office expansion

Two options for additional York County office space, an Army Reserve center and an old Winn-Dixie building, remain in limbo as the county examines short- and long-term growth needs.

The York County Council on Monday reclaimed the Army Reserve Center property from the federal government, but Assistant County Manager David Larson said council members now have to decide if they want to use or sell it.

This process, he said, could take a couple more months.

The county gave the property where the Army Reserve center sits to the federal government in 1957, and the deed says it would revert to York County's ownership once Army operations closed.

The center at the corner of Cherry Road and Main Street hasn't been used by the Army Reserve for more than year. York County Natural Gas Authority and The Haven men's homeless shelter expressed interest in the center last year.

"We've got a number of needs throughout the county," Larson said. "It could be used in a variety of different ways. Or disposed of and used to defray the costs of other things in the capital plan."

Another possibility, expanding county offices in the Winn-Dixie building on S.C. 901, was discussed in closed session Monday. No decision has been made, Larson said.

The building, which has been vacant for a couple of years, small stores next to it and a parking lot would cost about $1.5 million, and it would cost about $2 million to upfit it into offices.

The county hasn't provided new space for a number of years, so Larson said there's pent-up demand.

"If you fill one need, you create space for other agencies. We're studying that," Larson said.

The county needed 44,000 square feet of office space in 2002. The Department of Social Services added 23 employees last year and plans to add 15 this year.

Before decisions are made, Larson said departmental needs will be evaluated.

Rental properties also are a consideration.