McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners signed a real estate purchase agreement this morning to buy the last two privately-owned properties north of the courthouse in the 500 block of Norris Avenue in McCook.
Commissioners agreed to purchase the two apartment houses at 520 Norris from Greg and Janet Hepp of McCook for $160,000, clearing the way for a jail if commissioners should decide to build one.
The sale will close March 1, and the buyer and the seller will share closing and title search costs. The Hepps will pay utilities and insurance until the closing.
County attorney Paul Wood told commissioners that six of seven apartments are rented, three on a month-to-month basis. Two leases expire in August, another in September. The Hepps and the county will work together to notify tenants.
Wood said that commissioners will decide after the closing, when the apartment houses become county property, whether to allow tenants to remain until their leases expire.
The county intends to demolish the two apartments and the stucco house at 516 Norris on the south of the apartment houses, unless someone wants to buy them and move them off their lots.
The contract stipulates that Greg Hepp wants the furnaces from the apartment houses before they're demolished; he will remove them at his own cost.
Commission chairman Earl McNutt told Dale Dueland, who attended the meeting this morning and asked several questions, that the Hepp properties appraised at $90,000 using a sale approach and $110,000 using an income approach. The agreed-upon purchase price of $160,000 includes compensation for loss of income for the Hepps for 20 years.
McNutt said the two apartment houses were more expensive than the apartment house at 524 Norris, which cost $50,000 in 2009; and the purchase of 516 Norris, which cost $79,500 in 2008. "But we knew it would be," he said.
The cost of demolition for the two-story apartment house at 524 Norris was $20,000, McNutt said, so he's figuring at least twice that to demolish the two apartment houses and the stucco house.