Allen County more than doubled its land holdings Tuesday morning.
Commissioners, on a unanimous vote after a 10-minute executive session, agreed to purchase 255 acres from Don Diebolt for quarry operations. At $3,000 per acre, cost is $765,000.
The county owned 240 acres prior to the purchase, including 160 acres for its landfill and quarry operations.
The county quarries and crushes limestone, which is used extensively in maintenance and rebuild of nearly 1,000 miles of county roads. Large quantities of dirt are required for landfill cover.
Nearly 100 acres of Diebolt’s land is directly west of the county’s quarry. The transaction did not include buildings associated with Diebolt Lumber & Supply, which is in the process of going out of business. The remainder, in two 80-acre parcels, is south of the quarry/landfill complex.
“We won’t need the Diebolt land in the foreseeable future for a landfill,” King said. Current landfill space is expected to be sufficient for at least another 10 years with another quarried area big enough to accommodate landfill needs “for another 70 years.”
THE SALE is the next step in Diebolt Lumber’s imminent closing and liquidation.
Diebolt told the Register in a telephone interview all of the lumberyard’s indoor merchandise has been sold.
“All we have is what’s outside,” he said, such as ceramic and vinyl flooring, cement siding, tub and shower units and decking lumber.
Diebolt will continue to sell those items — all of the hardware and indoor merchandise was purchased by an out-of-town lumberyard owner — until March 1, when he closes Diebolt Lumber’s doors for good.
Anything left will be sold through an online auction April 11. The sale includes the remaining ground on which Diebolt Lumber sits, its buildings “and everything else,” such as office equipment and trucks.
With Diebolt Lumber’s closing, Diebolt has since started Diebolt LLC, a manufacturer of custom homes and post frame metal buildings.
“We still get people stopping by for lumber or hardware,” Diebolt said.
HEINRICH PEST Control, now owned by Jerad Larkey, had the winning bid for mowing and lawn maintenance of the courthouse square and other county properties in Iola, including the old hospital and 911 dispatch center. Larkey’s bid totaled $340 per mowing cycle and was the lowest of four.
Commission Chairman Tom Williams asked County Counselor Alan Weber to look into cost of razing the old hospital.
“We need to know what that would cost if that’s our last option,” Williams said.
Several developers have looked at the abandoned structure, First and Madison streets, but none has made an offer to either buy or lease.
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