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On the heels of the Fiscal Court vote to enter into negotiations to purchase the current Spencer County Cooperative Extension building, the EMS building committee met last Wednesday to begin the process.
All committee members — Magistrates Woodie Cheek and David Goodlett, EMS Director Jeff Coulter, Buildings Superintendent Darrell Herndon and County Attorney Ruth Hollan — were present.
Hollan advised the committee that there were only two ways to purchase the building.
“Enter into a lease purchase agreement or you can purchase it outright,” Hollan said.
The county cannot enter into a traditional mortgage because it would extend beyond the elected officials’ terms.
Hollan advised that the Extension board’s original offer with a lease-to-purchase, 10-year agreement, would probably be best.
Those terms could include a $25,000 down-payment, with an approximate monthly payment of $1,875 for the next 10 years. Then, at the end of the 10 years, the county would pay the Extension board $1 to transfer the property, Hollan said.
The Extension board’s most recent offer, a $1 purchase price with the guarantee the county would budget $25,000 per year for the next 10 years as a donation to the Extension or its programs, was not something the court could legally do, Hollan said.
The final price of the building could be determined by an appraisal, which is considered a part of the county’s negotiations with the Extension board.
Fiscal Court is not permitted by law to purchase property for more than it is appraised.
Magistrate Goodlett told the committee he had spoken with several commercial appraisers who gave him estimates from $1,500 to $2,500 with varying time frames.
The Fiscal Court approved an appraisal for up to $2,000 and had hoped to have the results by its next meeting, which is Monday.
The committee voted to use appraiser Randy Birdwhistell, who estimated the cost of the appraisal to be between $1,500 and $1,700. Birdwhistell said he could have the appraisal completed in about two weeks, Goodlett said.
“He seemed to be the most willing to get on it and get the job done,” Goodlett said.
The committee also voted to move forward with the process, which included having Hollan draft a contract in the event that the appraisal was ready by the next Fiscal Court meeting.
Hollan also commended the Extension board for their willingness to work with the Fiscal Court.
Coulter expressed his content that the process is moving forward.
“It’s a better building than we could ask for,” he said. “It’s a great building at a good price and it can be made to work. There’s no need for the county not to own that building.”