Greenbrier County Commission convenes Special Meeting, looks to move forward with Health Department expansion

By Matthew Young, RealWV

LEWISBURG, WVa. – The Greenbrier County Commission, during a called Special Meeting on Friday, authorized a financial offer for the purchase of land for a planned expansion of the County’s Health Department facilities. 

“Following several months of negotiation and working with the State Fair of West Virginia, who is interested in also purchasing part of the property, we believe we have come to terms for the purchase […] of a little over 36,000 square feet of property that adjoins the Greenbrier County Health Department,” Commission Counsel Britt Ludwig said. “After working with Josh White and Mackenzie Hilton, who represent the seller, William Ott, […] the commission is in a position to make an offer to purchase the property.”

The Health Department is located on Seneca Trail in the Fairlea-section of Ronceverte. The property currently owned by Ott, parcel number 9L-23, is directly beside the property which the Health Department building now sits on. 

“The offer that you (commissioners) will be requested to authorize today is $225,000,” Ludwig noted. “That is what’s reflected in the documents that we’ve been working on with the broker and realtor.”

According to Commissioner Lowell Rose, the portion of Ott’s property, which the Fair Grounds is pursuing, has an estimated value of $125,000.

“That brings the total cost of the property to $350,000, which is what Mr. Ott indicated that he would like to get out of the property,” Rose said. “We’ve agreed to those terms, and the Fair Grounds have agreed to those terms. It looks like we’re all set to go.”

Ludwig added that while the County’s purchase price for the property is “slightly above the appraised value,” it is a necessary investment for the completion of the expansion project. 

“It would cost at least that much or more to pursue a different avenue of acquisition,” Ludwig said. “It is completely within reason.”

With the commission’s approval, the County is now bound by the terms of the offer. And while Ott is under no obligation, should he choose to accept the commission’s purchase offer, he must do so by Monday, Oct. 16. Closing on the sale of the property must then occur no later than Oct. 27.

As the commission has already accepted a bid and retained the services of a contractor to complete the expansion of the Health Department, a rapid close is necessary in order to begin the project before the onset of winter. 

“[When we’re] closed, we can definitely give our contractor the go-ahead on the project,” Rose said. “His concern is going ahead and ordering materials because of the time it takes to get them. He wants to hit the ground running, and not be tied up on material wait times.”

Prior to approving the purchase offer, Commission President Tammy Tincher requested confirmation that the State Fair’s purchase arrangement with Ott is separate from the County’s.

“My understanding is that they will be making their offer on different terms,” Ludwig responded. “Ours is a cash purchase. I don’t know that they will have those terms. It is a different purchase procedure.”

The purchase offer authorization was unanimously approved by the commission.

The next regular meeting of the Greenbrier County Commission is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 10 a.m. 

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