Zachary House declared surplus by BOC

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

A decade ago the Henry County Board of Commissioners paid to move an old house to Nash Farm Park. It has gotten no use in that time, and now the board is taking steps to make it go away.

A resolution was approved by the board at its Jan. 17 regular meeting declaring the house at 4361 Jonesboro Road as surplus. The pre-Civil War structure, known as the Zachery House, was moved from 61 Dunn Street at a cost of $36,000 after the board approved the action in March of 2007.

The original move was completed at the recommendation of a county historian, and the plan was for the house to be renovated for use as a meeting center or event facility. It has remained vacant ever since and has been closed to the public the entire time.

The house is not on the National Register of Historic Places, assistant county manager Cheri Hobson-Matthews reported to the board. When asked later in the discussion by Commissioner Dee Clemmons if all avenues had been exhausted to ensure that the county would not be disposing of a historic building improperly, Matthews said yes.

Several contractors have evaluated the house at the behest of the Henry County Parks and Recreation Department, Matthews stated, and reports indicated a failing floor system that would require more than $300,000 to repair. As the house has no serviceable function, according to county ordinances it can legally be declared surplus by a vote of the commissioners.

In other business, the board approved a right-of-way agreement between the county and the Georgia Department of Transportation relating to the Rum Creek bridge replacement project on Blackhall Road.

Henry County is responsible for right-of-way acquisition for this project, SPLOST transportation director Roque Romero told the board, and funds for the estimated cost of $300,000 are in the project budget. Work could start there in only a few months, he added.

Clemmons noted that the project has been in the works for a few years and she has received a number of questions about it. She asked Romero to make a request to the state DOT for more public information meetings in the near future, especially since there will be significant traffic issues during the construction process such as detours.

Romero pointed out that Blackhall Road is a popular route for motorists when traffic on I-75 is backed up, and he hoped that the imminent opening of the new managed toll lanes on the expressway will help alleviate some of the congestion during the bridge replacement.