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County may be moving health department PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 13:36

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Commission votes to lease/purchase medical building on 15th Street



By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times



Though nothing will be official for at least a few months, the Seward County Health Department may soon have a new home.

Following two executive sessions Monday, county commissioners voted 4-1, with commissioner C.J. Wettstein voting no, to enter into a lease purchase agreement with First National Bank for the financing of property located at 1411 W. 15th Street in Liberal.

“The intended purpose of that 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 the 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said the move by the board to approve the agreement makes more sense than continuing to make repairs to a seemingly outdated building where the health department currently sits.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.

For now, Seward County Administrator April Warden said what needs to be done is done, but more work will take place later to hopefully get the health department a new home.

“I will contact First National Bank letting them know that you did approve the resolution for financing this evening,” she said. “Based on that, they will order an appraisal. We will also go through the inspection process to make sure there isn’t anything that shows up through the inspection. They will order the title work, and we would arrange for the closing of that.”

Both Warden and commissioner Ada Linenbroker confirmed this part of the process would likely take until the end of 2017, and no moving would take place until at least the beginning of 2018.

 

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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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