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County commissioners purchase health building PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 08:34


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• Leader & Times

Monday, Seward County commissioners made official the lease purchase of a new home for the county’s health department.

By a 4-1 vote, with commissioner C.J. Wettstein voting against, the board approved using Liberal’s First National Bank as the lender for financing of a lease purchase the professional building at 1411 W. 15th Street at a total of $550,000.

Prior to the vote, Seward County Administrator April Warden spoke briefly about getting bids from local banks for the project.

“On Nov. 9, I contacted our local financial institutions in regards to the lease purchase of the professional building located at 1411 W. 15th Street,” she said. “That was a day on which we had the final contract signed. I reached out to Sunflower Bank, Golden Plains Credit Union, First National Bank, Community Bank and Bank of Beaver City.”

Warden said she had also let the lenders know the commission wanted to finance the building for 120 months, or 10 years, for the approved price

“I also let the lenders know the purchase was contingent upon the appraisal of the property with the appraiser being selected by the lender,” she said. “I received back the following responses. Sunflower Bank did reach out to me, but did not submit a bid. Golden Plains Credit Union, they do commercial financing. He said they do some commercial financing, but he let me know it requires an additional borrower’s signature and responsibility.”

Warden continued with the bids from the other local institutions.

“First National Bank came in at 3.3 percent for 10 years,” she said. “Community Bank let me know that they were not in a position to compete on this particular loan at this time, and Bank of Beaver City came in at 3.9 percent for 10 years.”

Wettstein questioned Warden about the extra $100,000 needed for upgrades to the building, with the purchase price of the building coming in at $450,000. Warden said the work needed to be done was of a minor nature.

“We had said we need carpet and paint,” she said. “There will be some furniture, obviously, that we have to purchase. I was basing that number off of what it took to do some of the furnishings out at the Road & Bridge department. I may be off base on that. I’m at the discretion of the commission to decide what the total amount is that you wish to fund this.”

Commissioner Jack Jacob agreed, saying overall, the building was in good shape physically.

“What we’re talking about is accommodations, not repairs,” he said. “It’s not like there are holes in the walls and we’re fixing that or there’s crumbling brick or foundation. We’re talking about carpet, paint and accommodating for all use.”

Warden said her recommendation was to go with FNB for the lease purchase and asked the commission if there was a different amount they would like to use for the lease. None was given, and the board then approved the item.

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

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,” he 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.




About The High Plains Daily Leader

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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