Bradford County purchases former Ben Franklin Crafts store

Bradford County Commissioners Doug McLinko, Daryl Miller and Ed Bustin approved the purchase of the former Ben Franklin Craft store building in Towanda.

TOWANDA — The Bradford County Sheriff’s Office may soon have a new home.

The Bradford County Commissioners on Thursday formally approved the purchase of the former Ben Franklin Craft store located at 215 Main St. in Towanda, which they said would likely eventually become the new location of the county’s sheriff’s office as well as the storage facility for the county’s new voting machines.

The building was purchased from the owners, David and Amy DeCristo, for a price of $300,000, said commissioners.

“The sheriff’s office is the main object that we want to put in there,” said Commissioner Doug McLinko. “We could also use it for storage for our new voting machines, because they need to be kept in a climate-controlled environment and we spent a lot of money on those machines.”

Fellow commissioners Daryl Miller and Ed Bustin noted that more state mandates surrounding record-keeping also requires the sheriff’s office to need more space.

“Between the huge amounts of evidence, equipment and records that our sheriff’s office needs to maintain, they need that space to carry out their duties,” Miller said.

“That’s just the nature of mandates,” Bustin said. “The sheriff’s office is already in a tight space as it is, so them needing more space was the big motivating factor in purchasing this building.”

Originally, the county had planned to relocate the sheriff’s office to the new 911 center, which is currently being constructed in North Towanda.

However, space at that location was also going to be too limited without costing a substantial amount more what the facility is already projected to cost. Additionally, commissioners expressed a desire to keep the sheriff’s office close to the courthouse.

Renovations on the building are expected to begin sometime next year.

Johnny Williams can be reached at (570) 888-9643 ext. 232 or jwilliams@morning-times.com. Follow Johnny Williams on Twitter @johnnywMT

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