Johnson County sells former public health building for $1


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One dollar can’t buy much.

But on Thursday, it bought four local nonprofit agencies an entire government building.

On Thursday morning, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors voted on the final agreements for the contract that will allow the county to sell its former public-health building for $1 to the nonprofit agencies.

“I think again the really nice thing about this is that it’s not an investment of capital, it’s to take a building that was sitting empty and now fill it,” said Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan.
With the selling price at $1, area agencies will have the ability to share the space and provide increased efforts for the Johnson County area.  

“We have a lot of agencies in town,” Sullivan said. “But they don’t always work as closely as they could to get the most bang for their buck.”

The agencies — the Johnson County Crisis Center, Free Lunch, Domestic Violence Intervention Program, and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill — will call the former government building home.

“We’re putting trust into those organizations to put the common good first,” said Supervisor Terrence Neuzil, a 12-year member of the board.

The project, which began in April, may finally be on the home stretch.

“We’re really thrilled,” said Becci Reedus. “The executive director of the Crisis Center. “It’s been a long road.”

Reedus hopes that the agencies can move into the building late next spring or early summer, following interior construction that will allow a better use of space.

After the final contract negotiations were agreed on with a 5-0 vote, the supervisors set a public hearing for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 13. The hearing will allow members of the public to voice their opinions on the disposal of the property.

The facility, 1105 Gilbert Court, has been dubbed Project 1105 by the agencies that will occupy the property.

The future tenants are happy with the new arrangements.

The clients will have better accessibility to the services all in one location, Reedus said.

“I think this is one of those situations where the sum is greater than its parts,” Sullivan said.

The supervisors are proud of the project.  

“Someday, when I decide to move on, I will look back, and I will think about the major accomplishments the county has created, and this will be in the top five,” Neuzil said. “I think this helps sustain the Free Lunch program for a very, very long time. That’s the kind of program government should be about.”

With the Project 1105 in the final stages, Reedus expressed her appreciation, promising the board that it wouldn’t be let down.

“It has been really a great project,” she said. “We have a long road to go, but thus far we’ve been having a great time.”

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