Current sheriff’s office will receive much-needed repairs and renovations
OWENTON, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2022) — In an effort to provide increased parking and accessibility, the Owen County Sheriff's Office will relocate to 103 W. Perry St. ahead of the 2022 tax season. While the move serves to accommodate residents visiting the sheriff's office, it will also allow for much-needed renovations to the historic building currently housing the sheriff and his staff. "Our goal is to serve the residents of Owen County in the most efficient and safe spaces possible while continuing to make much-needed repairs and renovations to our historic county properties," said Owen County Judge/Executive Casey Ellis. Last year, Owen County Government received more than $150,000 in tax credits through the Kentucky Heritage Council resulting from roof repairs, installation of new windows, new heating and air system, and installation of high-efficiency lighting at the Owen County Courthouse.
The project also included the restoration of the stone retaining wall surrounding the courthouse perimeter.
This same type of funding, Ellis said, is available for similar restoration projects at the sheriff's office. Once the restoration is complete, Ellis said the end goal is to use the space for additional county government offices.
Located at 102 N. Madison St., the current sheriff's office once served as the county's jailhouse and was built between 1874-1876. It was placed on the National Register for Historic Places in 1976.
Sheriff Mark Bess and his staff – four patrol deputies, one full-time clerk, and one part-time clerk – have advocated for the office's relocation, citing a lack of parking and difficulty accessing the building for elderly and disabled residents.
The county-owned West Perry Street facility most recently served as temporary office space for administrative staff of the Three Rivers District Health Department and is the former site of the Owen County Senior Center.
"Many of our residents rest easier by hand delivering their tax payments to ensure they arrive on time and to avoid waiting for their receipt to arrive by mail," Bess said. "This is especially true of our senior population, and we believe this move will better serve their needs."
Reshaping and repaving the West Perry Street facility's parking lot is currently taking place, and the move is on track to be completed by Oct. 1.