• Plan to move offices from SunTrust building pitched to Orange County Commission


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Orange County commissioners discussed the county's plan to move the property appraiser and tax collector out of the SunTrust building in downtown Orlando and into new space near the Fashion Square Mall.
    Negotiations to buy the $11.3 million property recently fell through.
    On Tuesday Channel 9's Kenneth Craig learned that the deal is back on, after the owner of the property agreed to pay for millions of dollars in repairs.
    County leaders are urging commissioners to approve the purchase, which could allow the property appraiser and tax collector to move out of the SunTrust building and into the new space by December.
    Commissioners, who heard about the plan at their Tuesday meeting, are expected to make a decision next week.
    County leaders said the new building will be ready to go in five months.
    For two years, Channel 9 has covered the efforts to move the property appraiser and tax collector, out of their $1 million-a-year high-rise lease, and into something cheaper and offering easier access for the public. 
    On Tuesday, county leaders said that reality is closer than ever.
    Tax collector Scott Randolph said that is good news for county residents.
    "Ii still think, by far, they are the best deal for the taxpayer," said Randolph.
    But property appraiser rick Singh -- who campaigned on moving his office out of downtown -- said the new properties aren't good enough and aren't safe.
    "I read the report. The report has words like 'mold,' 'weeping walls.' The reporting has some very alarming leaking roofs," said Singh.
    The county and the property owner insist that all of that will be taken care of by December.
    County leaders will make another presentation to the board next Tuesday. They will then decide whether or not to go forward with the plan to move the offices.
    If county commissioners approve the purchase, officials said the county it will take about 11 years for them to start seeing a savings.

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