County waits on hospital decision

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May 13, 2015 - 12:00 AM

Allen County commissioners deferred until their June 2 meeting whether to sell or tear down the old Allen County Hospital.
Arlyn Briggs, Kincaid area farmer, has proposed to convert the hospital to a care center for patients with Alzheimer’s disease as well as other health care services. By June 2 he must have not only assurance of $157,000 to purchase the building, as is, but also business and financial plans to ensure success.
The alternative is to raze the structure on the promise that G&W Foods will set up shop on a cleared portion of the two-acre site. Remainder could be location for apartments and a townhome complex.
If commercial and residential development is in the cards, commissioners will seek bids to raze the aging structure. At Tuesday’s meeting they agreed to hire John Brocker of Allen County Realty to auction surplus equipment still in the old hospital. Brocker will receive a 15 percent commission with guaranteed payment of $600. Brocker’s bid was the better of two.
Commissioners toyed with the idea of bidding removal of the structure in two stages, one for salvage, such as copper wiring, and a second for demolition. They leaned more, though, to including salvage in the demolition contract, which they thought likely would draw a better bid.
A 50-kilowatt generator may be sold ahead of an auction of such things as commercial kitchen equipment and even doors and cabinets.
But, commissioners’ decision awaits what Briggs’ June 2 presentation.

THE NEW bridge over Owl Creek about two miles west of Humboldt may not open for another month.
Bill King, director of Public Works, told commissioners the latest word was guardrails would not be installed until late this month or early June. The bridge originally was expected to open in late March.
“That’s the issue, the guardrails,” King said, with a hint of disgust in his voice.
County crews are about to embark on two major seasonal projects, he said: Chip and seal treatment of roads will start about June 1; dust control material will be applied to roads near homes where residents paid for the process a week earlier.
Commissioners gave Linda Guiot, a representative of Eagle Med, little more than a courtesy hearing when she proposed Allen County enroll in an insurance program that would pay charges in excess of insurance compensation for Allen Countians flown by the group’s helicopter.
“You could be the first county in Kansas to provide the insurance” for residents, Guiot said, at a cost of $57,000. Eagle Med has policies for individual families starting at $65 a year.
“We’ll think about it,” said Commissioner Jerry Daniels, who once flew Eagle Med helicopters. Commissioners Tom Williams and Jim Talkington agreed.
Commissioners agreed to purchase four sizes of aluminized culvert pipe from Welborn Sales, Salina, at costs ranging from $24.96 to $29.82 per foot, depending on diameter and length. They also purchased two sizes of steel culvert pipe from Rail Road Yard, Stillwater, Okla., for $10.95 and $13.50 a foot.

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