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— Members of the Jones Trust presented Benton County Judge Dave Bisbee with two proposals for the county to relocate the Health Department to the Center for Nonprofits at St. Mary's in Rogers.

Bisbee, along with Justice of the Peace Frank Winscott, met with members of the trust Thursday afternoon. County officials have been looking into options to move the Benton County Health Department from its present location on Arkansas Highway 102.

The location at the Center for Nonprofits would provide the Health Department with 23,850 square feet of space, but there is also space to handle expansion in the future.

"You have me sold on the facility," Bisbee told the group at the beginning of the meeting. "All I need is the numbers."

Al Stehben, chief financial officer for the Jones Trust, presented the numbers in the two possible lease agreements to Bisbee and Winscott.

One is a prepaid option based on 15 years, while the other is a standard lease option.

Under the 15-year lease agreement, the county would prepay $1.9 million, and the monthly payments would be $8,745. Under the standard lease agreement, the county would pay $29,926 per month.

After 15 years, the trust would lease the space to the county for $1 a year, and the county would have to participate in 16 percent of the building's capital maintenance costs.

Bisbee told the group that Quorum Court members must make the final decision and that he was sure some justices would be concerned about not owning the space.

The Center for Nonprofits is one option that is under consideration to house the health unit. The second option is the old Perry Butcher Building at 5121 S.W. Runway Blvd.

Bisbee told the group he will take the center's proposal and the other option to the Long Range Planning Committee first, then to the Committee of 13.

The health unit's relocation is a policy decision, and the Quorum Court must decide on it, Bisbee said.

The Long Range Planning Committee does not have a meeting planned before Tuesday's scheduled Committee of 13 meeting, so the proposals will not be on Tuesday's agenda.

Bisbee said a special meeting of the Committee of 13 may be called after the Long Range Planning Committee meets.

Winscott told the group he wanted to review the information and that he might call trust members with additional questions.

Sports, Pages 7 on 09/09/2009

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