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County leaves Bowron, rents Panzer’s office

Development corporation to assess needs, try to find buyer for historic buidling

Staff writer

Hillsboro chiropractor Kodi Panzer’s Marion office will become home to the county planning and zoning department Monday.

Panzer and Russell Groves of Marion County Community Economic Development Corporation spoke to county commissioners for the second time in a week this past Monday about the county renting the building instead of keeping the department in the Bowron Building at the corner of 3rd and Main Sts.

The Bowron Building has a failing heating and cooling system and a leaky roof. Commissioners have hedged on spending money to make repairs on the historic building.

Last week, discussion centered on purchasing or renting Panzer’s building. Panzer’s asking price for the building is $60,000, more than double the county appraiser’s $27,320 valuation of the property.

This week’s discussion was different.

“We’re not talking about Marion County buying this building,” Groves said. “We’re talking about Marion County renting this building.”

Commission chairman Randy Dallke said the City of Marion has objected in the past to the county taking over buildings that housed taxpaying businesses, and he didn’t want to rush into a decision.

Dallke also noted Panzer’s building was for sale for $38,000 before she moved into it a year ago. He said he wanted a price they could negotiate.

“That’s the beans on the table,” Dallke said.

Nevertheless, Dallke voted in favor of renting the building for $600 per month after planning and zoning director Emma Tajchman said a backup air conditioner in the Bowron Building had stopped working that morning, leaving the coolest part of the building at 83 degrees.

Groves said putting the department in the Panzer building for even a short term would buy time to make a long-term decision.

The lease approved by commissioners was for one year. It does not include utilities, which Panzer estimated were $150 a month.

Groves proposed the economic development corporation serve for a year — the same length of time commissioners agreed to lease the building — as an adviser, looking at what the Bowron Building needs and trying to find private investors. Groves said the building shouldn’t be allowed to deteriorate further.

Marion economic development director Randy Collett told commissioners decisions needed to be made on what the Bowron Building needed.

“I would encourage you to let this corporation be kind of a pivot point,” Collett said.

Last modified July 27, 2017

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