Annex debated as appraisal district seeks new home

By Matt Ward —

County Annex No. 2 may be considered to house the Gillespie Central Appraisal District after lengthy discussion of the proposal by Gillespie County Commissioners during their regular meeting Monday morning.

“From what I’m hearing, it sounds like there may be an interest, but we all understand that there are still issues to work out,” County Judge Mark Stroeher said. “We all have some concerns, but the overall consensus is that we would have an interest in discussing it.”

The appraisal district, which will need additional office space to accommodate tax collection services beginning in July 2015, is seeking alternative locations for a new site before making a recommendation to its five largest taxing entities next month.

Three-quarters of those entities — Fredericksburg Independent School District, Gillespie County, the City of Fredericksburg, Harper Independent School District and Doss Common Consolidated School District — must approve any proposal made by the appraisal district board of directors.

No action was taken by the commissioners’ court on the issue.

Best location

Currently, County Annex No. 2 houses several smaller Gillespie County departments as well as a Texas Forest Service office and storage facilities.

“I think the building works fine. It’s not what you would build if you hire an architect and draw up anything you want, but I think for the taxpayers, it’s a real value to be there and make use out of the building,” Commissioner Calvin Ransleben said.

Chief Appraiser David Oehler noted that, while many options are being considered, the annex is in a central, prime spot for taxpayers.

“The location is great and probably can’t be beat,” Oehler said. “There are parts of the building that would function for a small office with one or two people that could be utilized, but trying to fit our function into it is kind of a square peg into a round hole kind of problem.”

The appraisal district has maxed out its office space at their current location inside the Gillespie County Courthouse and does not take into account the added space required for tax collection purposes.

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