By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
That’s the end result of the former Knox County Health Department building after an auction Sept. 28.
During the regular monthly meeting of the Barbourville City Council Thursday, Mayor David Thompson announced the building sold for $167,000.
He said that business partners Tim Bargo and Mike Mills bought the building — originally competing with four bidders on the outset.
“They already took possession,” Thompson said. “And they’re already seeking tenants for it.”
No discussion or vote was required for this.
During the Sept. 10 meeting, council members held a 10-minute executive session. After the session ended, it was learned that council agreed to set the reserve dollars for the sale of the old Health Department building, located behind city hall.
Thompson explained then the building is city-owned and that it is approximately 9,800 square feet.
However, before that could happen, the city had to surplus the building.
During a special-called meeting June 26, council members unanimously agreed to declare the building as “surplus property.”
Once that designation was official, that’s when council members agreed to auction off the building.
During that meeting, Thompson said the city had been paying approximately $20,000 to maintain the building, which served no purpose for the city.
He explained that $10,000 was the annual payment to the Knox County Health Department for the $100,000 building loan — maintenance and utilities bills also required payment.
“The proceeds from the auction will go toward paying the health department the loan difference,” Thompson said, adding that anything over that amount will end up in the city’s coffers.
The original building was constructed in the 1960s, according to Thompson. After some time the city donated the small building to the Knox County Health Department.
They, in turn, made it bigger.
“The agreement was that if they ever left the property it would revert back to the city,” Thompson explained.
And four years ago when the new building was complete — the building did indeed fall back into the city’s possession.
When the city took over, Thompson explained the city paid the health department $100,000 — at $10,000 a year.
When the decision was made to surplus, and then sell the building, city budget planners added the expected monies from the sale to the budget figures.
“This is more than what we put into the budget,” Thompson said. “And because it brought more, it did help balance the budget.”
He said the city continuously had a difficult time finding renters for the property — which led to the finance committee’s decision to surplus and sell the building to balance the 2013-2014 budget.
By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
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