County Board moves to purchase new facility
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
At today’s 12:00 p.m. board meeting, the Benton County Board of Commissioners provided time for public comment, deliberation and discussion on the acquisition of a new facility. Following a thorough discussion, the Board unanimously approved purchasing the facility located at 4500 SW Research Way in Corvallis to co-locate County public services. The Board’s next steps will include signing the purchase and sale agreement, with a closing date scheduled for February 14, 2020.
Three weeks ago at the December 17, 2019 work session board meeting, County Administrator Joe Kerby provided an overview and analysis of the facility for the Board’s consideration. Included was a detailed description of investigation and “due diligence” performed by the County’s acquisition team, including a commercial building inspection, property appraisal, verification of survey documents, review of documents requested from the owner, and engagement with the existing tenant.
Benton County Counsel Vance Croney and County Administrator Joe Kerby outlined a timeline for next steps, including a partial remodel of the new facility with an estimated completion during the first quarter of 2021. Departments under consideration for Phase I of occupying the new facility include Records and Elections, Board of Commissioners, and County Administration, along with Finance and Assessment. This creates room to bring the Development Diversity Department to the Sunset Building, resulting in an annual cost savings of approximately $90,000 and opens space in the current Board of Commissioners office for other County uses.
Phase II anticipates relocating Information Technology and Human Resources, with subsequent moves by either Community Development or the Juvenile Department. Phase III provides additional options for partnership expansion, new tenants, and the opportunity to repurpose or sell surplus property. The phases as described reflect the County’s preliminary proposals on use of the facility, but are subject to change pending additional organizational discussion and consideration of formal space-planning analysis.
The Board’s decision reflects the County’s critical need for infrastructure and its desire to advance the vision of a “county seat” and customer service center. Despite extensively remodeling of the Sunset, Avery and the Health Services Buildings over the last two years, the majority of Benton County facilities are at or above capacity.
Materials from today’s board meeting are available at https://www.co.benton.or.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/board_of_commissioners_office/meeting/6417/200107_tu_pkt.pdf.