Christian County Assessor’s Office removing old jail cells for space

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Ozark, MO — Christian County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the state…And because of that, the assessor’s office there is running out of room.

Assessor Danny Grey talked about the unique way the county is making more room, and it requires moving a small piece of history out of the way.

“We probably put on as many homes as any county in the state of Missouri, as far as single-family homes. We have great school systems, and people want to live here,” says Grey.

In his 7th year as Christian County Assessor, Grey says he doesn’t see that growth slowing down anytime soon. That growth will create needs in his office.

“We do have some space issues. As the county grows we’ll need more employees, or we’re needing to ramp those employees up. Currently, we have about 14 (employees),” Grey says.

He says it’s a tight fit for the employees the building currently has, but the office also has to have space for records.

“We have to keep personal record cards on all people and inevitably we have sketches, photos, and all that in there. The state still requires us to have hard copies of all of that,” Grey says.

There are even employees crammed into the records room, but there is a solution that could provide more space just down the hall.

“Currently, we have nowhere else to go. That area is the only area left to be able to go,” says Grey.

That area once had a much different use.

“We have an adjacent office that is not being used. It’s just being used for storage right now, and that is the old jail cells,” Grey says.

These three cells haven’t been used in about 20 years. The current jail was opened in 2002 after a late 90’s lawsuit was filed against the county for poor jail conditions. Grey says it will be nice to replace something that is such an eyesore, with something that will better the county.

“It’s pretty depressing over there. I’m not sure it’s a pleasant piece of history. I look at it that it’s probably going to be something nice that is going to be built in its place that is functional and useable,” Grey says.

Grey says the construction on removing those cells should begin in the next 30 days.

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