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County to discuss financing health building PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 18 November 2017 16:00

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By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times



At its Nov. 6 meeting, following an executive session, the Seward County Commission voted 4-1, with commissioner C.J. Wettstein against, to approve a contract to purchase the medical office building at 1411 W. 15th Street in Liberal.

The purchase is contingent upon the lender selecting an appraiser and appraised value of the property being equal to or greater than the contract price.

At its regular meeting Monday evening, the commission is scheduled to hear from County Administrator April Warden regarding the financing of the building for a new location for the county’s health department.

In September, also following an executive session, the commission voted 4-1, again with Wettstein voting no, to enter into a lease purchase agreement with First National Bank for financing of the property.

“The intended purpose of the purchase is to begin to replace the current existing Seward County Health Department building, which we have on the corner of Second and Lincoln,” Commission Chairman Nathan McCaffrey said following that vote.

Commissioner Jack Jacob said the move by the board to approve the agreement makes more sense than continuing to make repairs to a seemingly outdated building where the health department currently sits.

“Part of my rationale for voting for that is the issue that we’ve already identified $400,000 worth of repairs that need to be done to the existing health department building, and that is short of making it ADA-compliant,” Jacob said. “There will be additional costs to deal with that issue. To me, the issue of costs versus costs, it ended up being negligible. You have the choice of repairing an existing facility that’s already too small, has too little parking and has no room to grow versus another facility that will allow all of those things.”

Jacob added purchasing an existing building likewise makes more sense than building a new facility.

“Yes, there are some repairs that need to be made as far as updating paint and carpet, but for me, that made it an easier choice when thinking of that purchase versus building a $2 million to $3 million building that would be of sufficient size,” he said.

To make the decision official, commissioners also approved, again 4-1 with Wettstein against, a resolution approving an authorizing the lease purchase agreement with FNB to finance the property.

At the September meeting, Warden said what needs to be done is done for now, but more work will take place later to hopefully get the health department a new home.

Both Warden and commissioner Ada Linenbroker confirmed this part of the process would likely not take place until the end of 2017, and no moving would take place until at least the beginning of 2018.

Monday’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. in the commission chambers in the Seward County Administration Building.

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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