A move by the Warren County Road Department to larger quarters may eventually pave the way for Bowling Green’s Med Center Health to complete a facility for cancer treatment on its growing campus.
Warren Fiscal Court approved Monday morning in a meeting held via Zoom teleconference the sale to Med Center Health of the 0.92-acre road department property at 638 E. Fifth Ave. for $1.47 million.
Med Center Executive Vice President David Gray, in a letter accompanying his successful bid for the property, wrote: “The property is essential to Med Center Health as we finalize plans to construct a new, comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer center on our Bowling Green campus.”
Gray, in a phone conversation after Monday’s meeting, said the cancer center planned for the East Fifth Avenue property and adjoining properties would “expand upon the services” now available at The Medical Center at Bowling Green.
“It gives us options as we’re making plans and determining our strategy for the cancer center,” Gray said.
The property includes the 10,200-square-foot road department building.
Plans for the road department to occupy a portion of the 56,848-square-foot Sugar Maple Square building are in the works.
Fiscal Court in September approved the $1.4 million purchase of Sugar Maple Square, originally intended as a commercial center, for use by the road department and other county departments.
That purchase from the family of Camping World founder David B. Garvin, who built Sugar Maple Square, is seen as a good fit by the late entrepreneur’s family.
“We’re so proud the county will take over the property,” David C. Garvin said after the sale. “It’s going to help the community. The county’s presence will keep that area clean and safe.”
Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon also views the Sugar Maple Square acquisition as positive for the county, although final plans for that property and another recent real estate purchase are still being determined.
The county purchased the Community Action of Southern Kentucky building at 171 Center St. last month as well, and fiscal court took action Monday to work on determining best uses for both properties.
The five magistrates joining the online meeting agreed to a service contract with Sewell and Sewell Architects for architectural professional services related to the two buildings and the “Ironwood Shop” building on the Sugar Maple Square property.
“We’re going to meet with the architects and our department heads to determine how to best utilize those buildings,” Buchanon said.
Buchanon and the county magistrates who make up fiscal court are also going to be determining how best to use the windfall of federal funds coming from the American Rescue Plan Act enacted for relief from the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Monday’s meeting, the magistrates voted to approve an agreement with the Compass Municipal Advisors financial services firm and the Stites & Harbison law firm for the reporting and distribution of about $25.9 million in ARPA funds the county is expected to receive over two years.
Together, Compass and Stites & Harbison will receive 1.5% of the ARPA funds as a fee for their services.
“It’s great for us that we’re getting money for infrastructure and other things,” said Warren County Treasurer Greg Burrell. “But we want to make sure it’s spent properly and legally. This agreement takes the liability off of fiscal court.”
Fiscal Court has already begun spending some of the ARPA money in ways that are known to be approved.
Magistrates approved in August a plan to award “premium pay” to county employees who had to work extra because of the pandemic. On Monday they approved an appropriation of $100,000 to the county government’s Welfare Center to assist with rent and utility payments of county residents affected by the pandemic.
“They’ve already told us we can use it for that,” Buchanon said of the Welfare Center funding. “It will be offsetting utility and rent payments for people affected by COVID-19. The welfare office is there to keep people from falling through the cracks.”
In other action Monday, the magistrates voted to spend $30,731.32 to Boyd Cat for four diesel-powered light towers to be used for a football/soccer complex at Henry F. Moss Middle School and other locations as needed.