Building demolished to make way for future courthouse

A vacant building on North Baroody Street in downtown Florence is being torn down piece by piece.

Back in November, the property was the center of controversy. Florence County Treasurer Dean Fowler, Jr was upset county council paid $551, 443 for the property when the county tax assessor valued the land at just $45,000.

County council argued the tax assessor's value of the land is always lower than that of a commercial appraisal because it's not as detailed.

Council officials said they paid the lowest price for the land per square feet and the property was needed for the future courthouse.

Florence County Administrator Thomas Robinson says since they plan to redevelop the land, it made sense to tear down the building because it was a safety hazard.

The county has purchased seven pieces of land for the future courthouse.

They hope to build it when the economy fully recovers.