Douglas County eyes Minden property |

Douglas County eyes Minden property

by Christy Chalmers, staff writer

Douglas County leaders may offer to buy part of a downtown Minden block for $457,000 Thursday.

The property is south of the Minden Inn and would provide space to expand existing county offices. County Manager Dan Holler said the transaction would give the county the former Vogue dry cleaning and Patrick Henry’s restaurant buildings, which are empty, and a parking lot bordered by Third Street.

The property was appraised at $475,000, but the county would deduct the cost of remedial and clean-up procedures, bringing the price to $457,000. If the purchase is approved, it will be funded with property tax money that has been set aside for capital improvements, so no new bonds or increases would be needed, Holler said.

Though the county would probably tear down the buildings, Holler estimated action would take at least a year.

“Some of this is longer-term planning,” said Holler. “With the purchase of the Minden Inn, we said ‘we’ll be here for the long haul, so let’s start planning this way.’ This allows us to address that.”

The county bought the three-story Minden Inn in 1998 and houses the community development, East Fork Fire and Paramedic District, county manager’s and county clerk’s offices in it.

The restaurant and cleaning buildings have been empty for a few years, but Holler said the restaurant might be temporarily leased to a dog biscuit bakery.

“The people want to lease it for six months for a year, and we would probably do that because it will take us that much time to do the planning,” said Holler. “We’re full (in the Minden Inn) but not crowded. We’re probably at least a year out on expansion.”

Minden officials have worked to revamp the historic downtown core, adding trees and customized sidewalks, and Holler said the county would work to complement those improvements.

The county commission meets Thursday at 1 p.m. in old courthouse, 1616 Eighth St., Minden.