No action yet, but county plans to move ahead with building purchase

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


While little discussion was made during Tuesday?s Washington County Board of Supervisor?s meeting on the purchase of the Federation Bank building to house Washington County Public Health, supervisor Abe Miller said the board should move ahead in a few weeks.

Miller said during the meeting there is sufficient space in the building for the health department, but may not be enough to also house the supervisor chambers.

?All the comments I have received have been positive,? supervisor Jack Seward, who attended the meeting over the phone, said. ?I suggest we think about in the next couple of weeks to make a motion to move forward with it.?

Miller said Washington County Engineer Jacob Thorius wanted to have an independent appraiser do an appraisal of the commercial value of the building. There has not been an estimate to renovate the space to meet the health department?s needs.

In May, the owners of the Federation Bank building approached the supervisors about purchasing the building located at 102 E. Main St. The bank is asking $1.7 million for the property, which would also include all of the furnishings. To purchase the building without the furnishings would be $1.6 million.

Prevously, the county received an estimate of $3 million to build a new public health facility. The county currently rents three floors of the building for its public health department. Discussion also has been made on moving some of the offices the county has on the first floor of the Washington County Courthouse to the building.

In order to pay for the building, a bond vote would have to be held. The county also has a multimillion-dollar project for emergency services and communications that will be required soon.