Congratulations, You Own a Jail
The Randolph County Jail officially has a new owner, thanks to online technology. After weeks of advertising locally and on eBay, the county commission held an auction by telephone to sell the jail.
"We had over 130 people who e-mailed us, saying, 'We want more information,'" summarized Assistant Commissioner Doug Galaske. "We had 25 people respond back to us, saying, 'Yes, we want the phone number, we want to participate in the bidding.' But, when it came down to crunch time, we actually had three bidders."
Steve Quarles bought the jail with a long-distance call from Romania, where he's on a missionary trip. His winning bid of $36,500 was $4,000 more than the jail's appraised value.
"There is no way around it," Galaske admitted. "If it hadn't been for eBay, and the publicity that the listing on eBay has generated, we would never have gotten the money that we did get out of it."
Quarles told the county commission he'll use the old jail as his new house when he's in town. People who worried the historic building might be torn down are happy to hear that.
"I like the fact that he is going to keep it as a house," said Dulcie White. "I don't know if he has a family, but raise a family, but keep the value of the house."
Galaske says the sale will help help pay part of Randolph County's debt. He says the commissioners are happy with the results, but have no plans to put anything else on eBay right now.