A two-story downtown office building with parking will be auctioned as part of Yellowstone County’s plans to remodel the courthouse.

County commissioners on Tuesday adopted a resolution to sell on April 1 the brick building at 214 N. 24th St. No one commented during a public hearing.

The commission also reduced its minimum bid to $293,000, which is the building’s estimated fair market value based on an appraisal conducted for the county by Charlie Hamwey, of Real Estate by Hamwey.

The county initially had set a minimum bid of $320,000.

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Finance Director Scott Turner recommended reducing the minimum price closer to the fair market value and to hope the auction will have competitive bidding so the county can proceed with its remodeling plans.

If the county didn’t sell the building for $320,000, it could not accept a lower bid and would have to try again at another auction, said Dan Schwarz, chief deputy county attorney. Schwarz also said he’s shown the property to a few prospective buyers.

The county plans to use sale proceeds toward construction of a new building at MetraPark for the county’s Extension Service, which is located in the courthouse. Moving Extension to MetraPark would provide courthouse space for the expansion of the county attorney’s office and relocation of other offices within the courthouse. The county bought the brick building in a complicated land deal to make room for the new federal courthouse.

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Federal Court, Yellowtone County Reporter

Federal court and county reporter for The Billings Gazette.