Say it ain’t so, Joe.

I didn’t think I’d ever live to see this.

As you drive by the Lake County Government Center on Main Street heading into Crown Point, you’ll notice the back end of a new building.

It’s a sorry sight.

And now things are about to get worse.

At fault are the three Lake County commissioners who approved the construction of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service building smack dab in the middle of the front lawn at the government center.

It was a spacious lawn that was inviting to visitors to the county facilities.

Apparently because it no longer is a welcoming sight, commissioners are bent on making it worse.

There is a crude looking sign posted at the corner of 93rd Avenue and Main Street advertising the sale of three-plus acres of land just east of that sad looking Purdue building.

There’s no asking price. I guess you just have to make a bid and hope it’s good enough.

Inquiring minds likely want to know why this is happening.

It seems the county has been renting space for the Purdue Extension Service for years — most recently at the Purdue business park along Broadway.

County Councilman Eldon Strong thought that was a waste of money and convinced the commissioners to put up a building on the government center lawn.

There was one minor problem: Buildings don’t come cheap. This one cost upwards of $1.5 million.

Unfortunately, the county didn’t have an extra $1.5 million lying around.

But the county has three-plus acres of land that has nothing on it but grass — beautiful grass.

So for the first time in history, the county is in the process of selling some of its land.

The prospect of what may be built on that land is endless. There could be a pizza parlor, a burger joint, a taco stand or a chicken shack. Or maybe there will be a food court that includes all of the above.

Or perhaps somebody wanting to provide tattoos and massages might bid on the land.

The possibilities seem to be endless.

Perhaps it will come down to the guy who offers the most money. That often catches the ear of elected officials.

Rich James has been writing about state and local government and politics for more than 30 years. Email him at rjamescolumns@gmail.com. The opinions are the writer’s.

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