City building buy back on track

    A potential stumbling block that could have possibly nixed the sale of the downtown onetime bank building at Second and Monroe streets to the City of Decatur was removed Wednesday night when the Adams Health Network (AHN) Board of Trustees agreed to drop a stipulation to the sale.
    The hospital had purchased the onetime First State Bank of Decatur building over 10 years ago and primarily used it for storage and to house its Home Health division and volunteer offices. The Adams County chapter of the American Red Cross also had an office there, but AHN emptied the building about a year ago and had sought bids for its sale.
    AHN President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Nordwick said the city was the only bidder and the city's bid of $25,000 was accepted by the hospital, albeit with two stipulations.
    The first one was not a problem for the city in that the hospital sought to make sure that whichever group bought the building would not use it for a health-related business for the next 20 years.
    The second addition, which was recently added, required that if the building was ever sold, the board would have a first right of refusal, meaning it could nix the sale.
    Schultz and Decatur City Council had no problem with the part of not using the building as a health-related business but was totally opposed to giving the hospital first right of refusal.
    In a brief discussion at Wednesday night's hospital board meeting, the trustees unanimously agreed to withdraw the second stipulation, an act that pleased Schultz and appears to pave the way for the purchase of the building by the city.
    "I'd say that pretty well clears the path for us to buy the building," Schultz noted this morning, adding the city has no immediate plans for the usage of the building.    He did emphasize the city has no intention of tearing down the structure, an act that recently occurred directly across the street at the former Holthouse Drug Store and most recently Dwayne's Sweeper Shop when the city purchased the condemned building and razed the structure.