Armidale Regional Council is trying to buy the old courthouse.
The state government has failed to achieve their $1 million price tag and now Council wants to purchase the site for the community.
Council will ask the government to reconsider the market value of the building.
But even if the state reduces their buy price to a peppercorn amount, Council could be left with a derelict building in need of major repairs.
The facility has become a target for vandals and graffiti artists since it was closed in 2014.
And the state government has abdicated its duty to maintain the building until it is sold.
Armidale Regional Council administrator Ian Tiley said there was a responsibility to at least return the building to its former state.
“We clearly have an obligation to restore it,” he said.
“It’s a beautiful building and an integral part of the mall.”
The former Armidale Dumaresq Council attempted to become a trustee for the site after it was closed.
But the government rejected their request saying it was “inconsistent with government policy”.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said the difference this time was that council was willing to take on the building as the sole owner.
“With Council seeing its way clear to take the building on, I’m really determined to work with them to see that we get that asset for the community,” he said.
“The government wants to dispose of this property and can't find commercial sellers, isn’t it the best outcome for the government, the taxpayer, and also the local community that Council be allowed to take the building on and actually properly maintain it and preserve it.”
The courthouse is not listed on the state heritage register and would only be eligible for limited maintenance funding.
Mr Marshall said there was a state heritage request was submitted in 2013 but was on hold until the future ownership of the building was determined.
“If Council takes over the building, I would certainly be pushing for that application to be processed and approved,” he said.
Mr Marshall said it was also important to talk about the building’s condition.
“The condition the building is handed over in … would have to be part of the discussions,” he said.