Columbia County commissioners have officially agreed to purchase the Doctors Hospital field, a tract of land in the Evans town center.
The 17-acre site, behind the Kroger shopping center on Washington Road, has been the site of many county events in the past. County commissioners had said they would like to purchase the property to ensure future use by residents, and Dec. 21 they agreed to do so after negotiations with Doctors Hospital.
County commission Chairman Ron Cross didn't give a specific appraisal amount agreed on by the county and hospital, but he said that a contract has been drawn up and needs only to be signed.
"We're finishing the contract, and we've agreed in principle on the purchase," Cross said.
Previously, Cross has said the county's appraisal on the land was $3.7 million. He said Doctors Hospital's appraised value was $4.2 million. The two were to get together to agree to a compromise appraisal amount.
Cross said he hopes to have the contract formally signed and a purchase to occur by the first of next year.
To pay for the purchase, Cross says the county has a plan to use some special purpose local option sales tax money, reserve funds and possibly some borrowed funds. A projection of more tax money from new businesses and property appraisals next year also would contribute, but Cross has said a tax increase would not be needed.
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