Madison County commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday allowing the purchase of property between Virginia City and Nevada City that will permanently house the counties’ public health offices.
Currently state statute doesn’t permit county departments to own property. The public health department has asked Madison County to purchase the complex, which already houses the public health offices as well as the department of emergency management, communications and dispatch.
The purchase price for the property is $520,000. Madison County Public Health Department has saved $110,000 of public health mill levy dollars to contribute toward the purchase. While the property will be owned by Madison County, but the public health money ensures that the public health department will keep permanent offices there.
Public Health administrator Jill Steely was satisfied with county commissioners decision to move forward and purchase the property.
“We’ve been down there, we like it down there, and we want to stay down there, but we don’t have the authority or statute as a department that says we can own property or buildings,” Steeley said. “The public health department has mill dollars that are specific to public health services. And part of the mill dollars have been saved up in order for us to buy our own building.”
County commissioners signed a draft of a buy/sell agreement for the property to be submitted to the current owner, Robert Nevin. The agreement will likely go back and forth between attorneys for both Madison County and the property owner before it becomes official.
“Once its signed then the transaction will happen and the county will own the property,” Steeley said.
Commissioners also requested a formal document in which both the county and the public health office agree on specific responsibilities concerning the building.
Jim Hart, Madison County commissioner for district three, was also pleased with the decision to purchase a property for permanent health department offices.
“They’ve had to move three times in the last three or four years, and now they have a spot that works well for them,” Hart said. “It’s wise for public health to have a home, and that’s what they’ve been concerned about all along.”
The property also houses offices for the Montana Department of Revenue, which would rent their space from Madison County.