Jackson County will purchase the former Bethel Assembly of God church on Medford's Main Street, across from the elections center, the Board of Commissioners decided today.

Jackson County will purchase the former Bethel Assembly of God church on Medford's Main Street, across from the elections center, the Board of Commissioners decided today. The county has no immediate plans for two parcels it is purchasing for $661,950. The church, with a tall tower in the front, formerly had been on the market for $1.6 million, but the county negotiated the lesser price. The parcels, totalling about two acres, could be used for extra parking for the elections center. The church property is at 1108 W. Main St., and the parcel behind is at 25 Quince St. Assistant County Administrator Harvey Bragg said the money will come out of the county's rainy day fund, which is about $67 million. The property will add to the county's holdings in the downtown area, allowing for future expansion of facilities. The county will demolish the church and two adjacent houses, Bragg said. Initially, the county considered relocating the sheriff's department, but the sheriff decided it wasn't a good location because vehicles would have to fight downtown traffic to respond to emergencies. Another possibility is relocating the district attorney's office or another building to house human services, though these ideas haven't been fully explored, Bragg said. The sale should close on Nov. 3. — Damian Mann
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