No decision on Hurley VFW purchase


January 11, 2019


Hurley — Even though the county wouldn’t be able to add on to the building, the Iron County Board of Supervisors’ finance committee decided to continue exploring the purchase of the Hurley VFW property Thursday.

At the committee’s December meeting, there was a discussion regarding putting a new upper level on the building and making it the home of the Iron County Health Department.

Iron County Clerk Mike Saari informed the committee Thursday that plan doesn’t appear viable.

Saari said the power company won’t let anyone change the exterior of the building, as it is under a large set of power lines.

“More or less, the power company said you can’t touch that building because of the power lines — you can’t add on to it, you can’t do anything with it,” Saari said.

Remodeling the inside would be allowed, according to committee chair Opal Roberts.

Saari said the health department likely isn’t interested in the building if a new portion can’t be built. One of the arguments made in December in favor of purchasing the building was the purchase price would quickly be offset by the savings from no longer needing to rent the department’s current offices.

The county pays $21,000 a year in rent, county board chairman Joe Pinardi said Thursday, and the VFW building is expected to cost roughly $70,000.

While the building likely won’t be the health department’s home, Iron County may still be able to benefit by acquiring the building. Not only would it prevent future conflicts regarding the use of the shared parking lot with the Iron County Memorial Building, but the building may be able to be used to house the county’s Aging and Disability Resource Center offices.

Not only would locating the offices there provide much needed room, it would also centralize the offices.

“Right now they’re split and we need all the ADRC offices in one place,” Roberts said.

If the building isn’t purchased, the county would likely move forward with a plan to construct some offices in the Hurley Senior Center — a move that is opposed by at least some of the center’s users.

If the county purchased the VFW building, it could not only fit the needed office space but there would likely be room for additional offices in the future and document storage.

The committee agreed an ADA-compliance assessment and an estimate of the other costs for renovating the building still need to be completed before the purchase can proceed.

In other action:

—The committee continued to discuss the county’s informational technology costs, requesting additional information regarding what surrounding counties spend on their IT services before a decision is made as to whether the county should create an in-house department or continuing to contract services out.


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