Building Sale Between G.I. & Hall County Won't Go Through
By Sara Kirkley, Weekend Anchor / Reporter - email
Hours after the Hall County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to rescind their offer to buy a building owned by the city of Grand Island, city leaders let them off the hook.
The council voted 8-1 to deny the purchase agreement for the former Workforce Development building Tuesday.
"I feel terrible about this," Hall County Supervisor Pam Lancaster told the council. Lancaster apologized and said she hopes this won't strain the good relationship between the two.
G.I. Mayor Jay Vavricek assured Lancaster that would not happen.
City Administrator Mary Lou Brown recommended that the council deny the purchase agreement. Council member Mitch Nickerson agreed, saying he wasn't in favor of selling the building to the county anyway.
However, council member Peg Gilbert said that she owed it to the citizens of G.I. to sell the building like the council promised. What the council had discussed earlier about the building seemed to be up for debate though.
Gilbert said if the building is not sold the funds for an alternate 911 center aren't there.
"I realize that you have buyers remorse in purchasing this, but is that our problem?" Gilbert asked. She said the county knew what they were buying when they made the offer and could sell it again themselves.
Nickerson opposed that idea.
"We owe it to our taxpayers to be more responsible than that. It doesn't matter if it's a county tax or a city tax, we all pay those taxes and we need those dollars spent wisely," he said.
Although some still want the building off the city's payroll, many council members said that a department that's expressed interest in it should be able to use it.
"I would say that if Utilities still wants the building, it's theirs," said council member Mike Paulick.
That matter will have to be taken up at another meeting.
Also Tuesday, the council unanimously approve a one and six year street improvement plan. They also voted to support a bill proposed by Senator Mike Gloor that could keep the veterans home in Grand Island.