During Thursday’s County Council meeting, Commissioner President Stan Klotz brought up the possibility of purchasing the Bowen Center building on Dora Lane for the County Health Department.

Klotz and Sandy Dunfee, Administrator of the Health Department, have been investigating the property and speaking with representatives from Bowen Center.  Klotz said Dunfee gave him a letter from the County Health Board verifying their full support of acquiring the building.  Currently the County Health Department rents space in the Community Resource Center on West Adams Street in Plymouth.   

Klotz told the County Council, “I think we are at the point now that we need the council to provide some guidance if they want to move forward and fund it.  How it would work and what it would look like.  They’re some things I’d like to say but I don’t want to say it in a public meeting that I’d like to make you guys aware of. Hopefully some opportunities but I think we need a plan if we are going to move forward.  That would be my suggestion to the council.” 

Council president Jesse Bohannon explained to those in the meeting that the opportunity to purchase the property over by Plymouth High School that Bowen Center currently occupies.  They are building a new facility at US 30 and Pioneer Drive and will be moving this fall into the new space.  The county has been given the first option to purchase the old space and the Health Department would like to expand so they can offer more services. Bohannon said, “It would give us an opportunity to put money up front and then save money down the road because we wouldn’t be paying rent anymore.” 

Klotz asked for guidance from the council saying, “I don’t want to move forward and put a bunch of time and effort into it if there is no interest.  I think there is from talking to different people on the council, but I’d also like to know we have a plan in place for how we are going to pay for it before we make an official offer.” 

When Attorney Marcel Lebbin asked how much they wanted for the building Klotz said, “I’ll tell you later.” Lebbin said the county could use 10% of the Health First Indiana money. 

Councilman Will Patterson asked how much money Klotz thought he needed from the county; his comment was the HVAC systems are nearing the end of their life and the boilers need some minor upgrades on checked valves.  He estimated another $200,000 and that the county could recoup their initial investment in 3 to 4 years. 

The County Council did motion to allow council vice-president to collaborate with Klotz on the potential purchase of the Bowen Center building on Dora Lane. 

During Monday’s County Commissioners meeting Klotz said the council gave support to move forward with the possible purchase of the Boen Center property.

Commissioner Kevin Overmyer reminded Klotz of the need for two appraisals of the property.  He also said, “Sitting here for 13 more meetings, I think we should wait until the new commissioners and new council comes in next year.” 

Klotz said there is going to be a substantial increase in rent if the health department stays where they are at.  

The County Commissioners approved having the county attorney contact two commercial appraisers to look at the Bowen Center facility.  If the appraisal that Bowen Center has completed the county may only need to pay for one appraisal.   

Overmyer asked about the substantial increase and Sandy Dunfee from the Health Department said the increase is allowing the Health Department to move to the main level with more square footage.