County to auction off  old health department

Billy Wright prepares meals to be delivered to more than 50 Action Pact Senior Center participants throughout the county. Action Pact and The Sunshine House have been located in the old health department building, which will soon be auctioned off by the county.

Action Pact, Sunshine House must relocate

Both the Action Pact Senior Center and The Sunshine House Child Advocacy Center were notified last week of the county’s intention to remove the building from the county’s inventory. Both offices are presently housed at the building, which is located on Daniel St. at N. Rountree.

Commissioners made the decision at the June 1 meeting to put the building up for auction.

County Administrator Bryan Aasheim informed commissioners that annual utilities for operating the building run at over $20,000 a year. On top of that, one of the heating/air units needs to be replaced at a cost of $14,400. 

The Sunshine House offered to pay half of the cost, Aasheim said, and suggested that they could pay some level of rent; however, he added, they would require a short-term lease commitment before making any expenditures.

The building also once housed the county’s Voter Registration office, which has since been relocated to the Commissioners’ Office on Hiawatha. Now, Commissioner Wayne Culbertson said, “(The building) is costing taxpayers money, and I don’t see where (taxpayers) are getting any benefit out of it.”

County Attorney Kendall Gross concurred, adding that the county is paying cost of insurance, upkeep and utilities on the building, which could be auctioned to a private buyer and would then transfer to the county’s tax digest. At the present time, he said, “It’s a dead asset sitting there.”

Commissioners voted 5-0 to auction off the property.

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