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City & County Take Step Toward Sale of Old General Hospital

By this time in June, we should know if the old Wichita General Hospital building will have a new owner.<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; This morning, Wichita Falls city councilors and Wichita county commissioners both authorized the hospital board to sell the property to a prospective buyer for two point five million dollars.<br>
By this time in June, we should know if the old Wichita General Hospital building will have a new owner.
    This morning, Wichita Falls city councilors and Wichita county commissioners both authorized the hospital board to sell the property to a prospective buyer for two point five million dollars.
   This property has been listed for more than a year.
     The prospective buyer wants to look into the possibility of converting the building into a senior care facility.
      He submitted a "letter of intent," and he now has 120 days to do "due diligence." 
    It's not a done deal.  But it is a step closer to a sale.  During the next 120 days, the prospective buyer will be, in a sense, "courting" the old hospital ...
    Miles Risley
Wichita Falls City Attorney
"He is using this letter of intent period in order to line up his financing & look in much more detail at the property to determine whether or not it's going to be profitable for him to execute his plan."
    Glenn Barham
Wichita Falls Mayor
"He may find problems with the building that he didn't anticipate, & he would be able to step back out of the project if that happens."
    The agreement includes incentives to the buyer for utilities, development, & demolition of part of the structure.
   "It's a win/win for the taxpayers."
It also includes a graduated 10- year tax abatement on improvements to the property.
   "That just gives him the incentive to go ahead with this project."   
    Mayor Glenn Barham points out that the property has *not* been on the tax rolls as long as it's been owned by the hospital board.  
   "It'd be a good thing for the city. It gets us a little more in property tax income.  It's not a significant amount -- you know, it's close to 20-thousand dollars a year -- but it's 20-thousand dollars a year that we didn't have."
    According to city staffers ... the hospital board could net about one point seven million dollars after incentives.
    The deal must also be approved by the Hospital Board and United Regional's board of directors.
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