The Gonzales County Appraisal District is seeking support to build a new facility.
The Appraisal District is currently located in the old GVEC building at 928 St. Paul Street, but according to Chief Appraiser John Liford, the district has urgent needs to upgrade its facilities.
“Quite simply, we need more space to meet our needs,” Liford said. “We are storing records that may be outdated or that are duplicates, but we simply don’t have the space to store everything.”
There are well over 110 filing cabinets filling up most of the office space in the Appraisal District offices, and the demand for more storage is growing. Compounding the problem are issues with electric and cooling systems to name just a few.
“We can’t plug into some of the electric outlets here because we might overload the system or trip the electric,” Liford says. “In addition, the cooling system in here is such that one office may be 10 degrees hotter than another one, and we don’t know how to fix it.”
Liford is hoping that the district can move its offices to vacant land adjacent to the Auto Value store in Gonzales, but he needs public sector approval before he can move.
“There are 12 taxing districts in Gonzales County and we need approval of 75 percent of those districts to move our offices,” Liford said. “We are going to ask each of them for their approval to build a new building, but we have to have their approval within 30 days of our request according to Texas State law.
“We are in the process of going before each of those entities this month, but the problem is many want to look into the matter before rendering a decision. Since most of them meet only once a month, a decision to not vote is basically a no vote and we will have to start all over again.”
The Appraisal District offices currently house 12 full time and one part time employee. All of the offices are crowded with files and documents, and there is no room to expand. Because of ADA requirements, any attempt to upgrade the existing facility would cost just as much building a new building.
Liford hopes that by bringing attention to the dilemma of space and facility limitations, he will be able to procure the statutory approval he needs by the taxing districts within 30 days.
“There are so many things we could improve in a new building,” Liford said. “We would have more storage, we could insure more privacy for residents who come into dispute valuations, and our infrastructure would be up to code. We just need the blessing to do what we really need to do.”