Carefree working out details on land purchase for court

By Curtis Riggs | December 10, 2008

Meeting set for 5 p.m. Thursday
CAREFREE – Details are emerging about the Town’s pending purchase of a downtown property for the Carefree Municipal Court facility and possibly a future Town Hall.

A discussion about purchasing the near 1-acre property at 8 Sundial Circle from the Dennis Lyon Family Trust will take place at a special Town Council meeting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 11.

Problems with the court being able to secure a long-term lease in its present location in the Town Hall/Post Office building and people who need to attend court having trouble finding it are driving the potential purchase of property. Getting a good deal from the Lyons family on the property, which already has an old 3,700-square-foot building on it, has Town officials scrambling to finalize the $850,000 purchase by the end of the year.

Alchemix buildingMayor Wayne Fulcher indicated the Town has already done much of its “due diligence” in securing the property for the court.

“The property has been appraised and we know what it’s worth. Now we just have to find good financing,” Fulcher said. “The issues we face with the court and eventually the Town Hall are not going to go away so we can’t just stick our head in the sand. We have had an opportunity presented to us and we need to evaluate it.”

Already having a tenant in the building, the Al-Chemix Company, which would pay the Town rent while it considers what to do with the court, is another factor making the purchase attractive to Town officials.

“It will be $10 less per square foot than what the court is now paying,” Councilman Greg Gardner said about acquiring the Al-Chemix building for $16.67 a square foot.

Fulcher said the Town is getting a good deal on the property because “The Lyons family has a long history of being involved in Carefree.

“They have a love of our town and want to do something for the town. In the past many people have stepped up because of their love of Carefree.”

Gardner said the Town has considered paying cash for the property, but could also take out a 15-year loan for it. Town officials are currently negotiating with a couple of lending institutions in hopes of negotiating a good deal.

“We may consider paying cash, but we would have to play around with the budget,” he said.
The Carefree Court currently has $143,000 in its Court Enhancement Fund, which could be used for the move to a new facility, according to Presiding Court Judge K.C. Skull.

“We want to ensure the facility is going to be there and no longer exist month to month,” he told the Town Council last week.

Councilman Bob Coady said, “On the surface purchasing the property appears like the right thing to do.”

Photo: The Town of Carefree is considering purchasing this building, which sits on nearly an acre of land at 8 Sundial Circle, from the Dennis Lyon Family Trust for the future home of the Carefree Municipal Court.

Photo by Curtis Riggs