“To buy or not to buy? That is a question” was on the table at this morning’s Board of County Commissioners meeting. (You’ll get that if you know the famous Willie Shakespeare soliloquy. If not…. never mind.)
Anyway, a possible purchase of property at 121 W. Broadway, Montesano by the county received a green light from two of three county commishes this morning. The property could have several uses.
An “initial proposal” included using it to house the County Prosecutor’s office, according to Commissioner Vickie Raines. Also some possible “shifting and moving around” of the court a la the third courtoom thing.
The property cost is $190K. Additional expenditures for improvements are anticipated. The property is assessed at $344K. The expected loan rate is 2.5%.
During discussion, Assessor Dan Lindgren said he sees “A lot of opportunity and potential for the building.” Commissioners Raines and Gordon concurred. Raines said she sees the purchase as more of an opportunity to have an investment “at a bargain price.”
“It’s (the purchase price) a lot less than the $50M we looked at last year,” she said, referring to a “third courtoom” proposal. Raines said the building’s potential outweighs the costs of purchase.
Commissioner Gordon agreed, pointing out that the building is one of the oldest in the county. If it can get listed as a historic building with the state, the designation would open doors to grant $, he said. Gordon emphasized that the county “worked as a team” to make the opportunity happen. He said the building hasn’t been up for sale in 90 years.
Noting that he’s running for re-election this year, Gordon said he’d “bet my election on that there building.” He said he believes the purchase will save the county money in the long term. He noted that it took teamwork to make the opportunity happen. (Got that in here twice. Just seeing if you’re paying attention.)
Commissioner Wes Cormier voiced concerns about the potential impact on the County General Fund related to the property purchase. He noted that Public Works Director Kevin Varness said in early January that he (Varness) didn’t have enough $ in his budget to acquire more buildings and facilities. Thus, the proposed purchase of the Broadway property concerns him, said Cormier.
Gordon responded by noting what he called cost effectiveness over time. Lindgren said a purchase would be “an eventual cost savings measure.” Cormier asked Lindgren if he’d consider the “cost savings” coming out of his (Lindgren’s) department, noting that remodel costs will come out of the general fund.
I’m not really sure where he was going with that. Holler if you do.
Raines emphasized that potential use of the property is in the “think out loud” stage. Lots of logistics still need to be hammered out. She said the commishes “need to be conscientious in our budgeting” to make the loan payments on the purchase. Raines indicated the rough $ estimate on loan payments is around $20K a year.
The property purchase for $190K was eventually approved on a 2 to 1 vote. Raines and Gordon voted Aye. Cormier voted Nay.
A few more items, but that was the big stuff this morning.