2007-01-13 / Front Page

County negotiating to buy vacant Time Warner building

Plans to build a courthouse annex on the former Potter County Texaco lot, across from the jail and the courthouse square, are apparently being shelved.

Officials are instead negotiating with Time Warner Cable to buy the former Coudersport Elementary School on North Main Street and use it as a county office building, according to a news release the Potter County Board of Commissioners issued this week.

"We think that we'll be able to negotiate a very reasonable price," said Ken Wingo, board chairman.

Time Warner, for its part, doesn't need the massive building that was once corporate headquarters of Adelphia Communications Corp. The company could be enticed to part with it at a low price, since Time Warner could then claim a charitable deduction on federal tax returns.

County Solicitor D. Bruce Cahilly was identified in the news release as the commissioners' point person. The board had originally planned to borrow millions of dollars to build an annex to solve a serious space crunch at the courthouse.

Adelphia bought the 57,000-squarefoot building, which was once a high school and later an elementary school, from the Coudersport Area School District and refurbished it.

Several county offices would be relocated to building, including those of Potter County Human Services, currently headquartered at the former L. L. Smith School in Roulette.

Still uncertain is the status of the garish new Operations Building on South Main Street, which is owned by the Adelphia estate, still operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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