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Lawrence County DD Tax Board buys former church for community center

Friday, September 25, 2009

In an effort to meet the continuing needs of developmentally disabled citizens in Lawrence County, board members of the Lawrence County Board for the Developmentally Disabled (LCDD) voted to purchase a new community building during the Sept. 14 LCDD board meeting.

Due to the necessity for more space, board members have been discussing the possibility of relocating the community building for the past year.

In August of 2008, board members discussed the possibility of either purchasing or leasing the old Clark Center building in Aurora. Ultimately, board members decided not to purchase the building because of the extent of needed repairs to the building and the cost that would be incurred.

After taking a tour of a different building during the Sept. LCDD board meeting last week, board members voted unanimously to purchase the facility, which is located at 403 Elm in Aurora. The building, which has been utilized as a church since it was built in 1973, was remodeled 10 years ago and is approximately 2,700 square feet. The building the board currently rents is approximately 1,100 square feet.

Board members said the increase in space at the new location will allow for much needed office space as well as programs and activities for the developmentally disabled.

"I am so proud to be in a county that offers this," said board member Martha Pettegrew, referring to LCDD's community building.

Additionally, board members said the need for LCDD board executive director George Woodward to have a private office was another attribute to having a new building because of privacy laws. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), for example, mandates federal protection for the privacy of personal health information.

The LCDD board will be purchasing the building for $165,000. Woodward said a down-payment of $35,000 has already been budgeted for the cause. The balance will be financed through UMB bank, which had the winning bid. Regions Bank and Community National Bank had also submitted loan quotes.

The projected monthly payment will be $1,091 at a 6 percent interest rate. Since 2006, the board has paid $6,600 each year in rent.

Since the building is located in a residential area, a special use permit will have to be obtained. However, board members did not believe that would be an issue.

Woodward said they estimate moving into the new facility by January of 2010.



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