On Monday, the McDowell County Board of Commissioners agreed to purchase the former Kirksey Funeral Home building in downtown Marion for $490,000.
In April, Kirksey Funeral Home announced that both the Marion and the Old Fort locations would close after almost 15 years of service.
For months, the building on North Main Street in Marion has stood empty while it was listed on the real estate market. The upper level has 6,742 square feet while the lower level that opens to the city of Marion’s parking lot has 4,356 square feet.
During the past few years, McDowell County officials have focused on upgrading the county government buildings and finding additional office space for departments and employees. The courthouse renovation and expansion project should be finished by December. Both the Register of Deeds and the Board of Elections have all been relocated to separate buildings. The office of the county manager has been moved out of the County Administration Building and into the lower level of the Senior Center. Work already has begun on constructing a new McDowell EMS headquarters south of Marion and a fourth EMS station north of Marion. The county also needs to find space for the N.C. Probation and Parole offices.
“We’ve looked at county facilities,” said County Manager Ashley Wooten after the commissioners discussed the purchase at Monday's meeting. “This building was identified as a good opportunity for the county. This building presents some opportunities for county functions and it’s a good location downtown.”
The former Kirksey building in Marion had a list price of $499,000. The seller was SCI Funeral Service of North Carolina, which is actually a Texas corporation, according to Wooten.
The commissioners looked at the former funeral home and thought it could be used for county government functions and department offices. They agreed Monday to purchase it for $490,000. It will not be financed but will be a cash purchase, Wooten said.
The vote on the purchase of the building was 4-0. Commissioner Barry McPeters was unable to attend Monday’s meeting at the Universal Advanced Manufacturing Center due to his work obligations.
It is still undetermined as to what the county will actually do with the former funeral home. Chuck Hamrick, the county’s architect, will come before the commissioners with his recommendations for the best use of its space, said Wooten.
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