The Moffat County Commission agreed Monday afternoon to direct its attorney to draft a memorandum of understanding laying out stipulations between the county and The Memorial Hospital regarding the sale of the current TMH facility.
The commissioners and TMH officials met Monday for the second time in less than a week regarding the sale of the hospital building, which is valued at an estimate of $2 million.
The hospital is scheduled to move into its new facility, currently under construction on the west end of town, at the end of the year.
The desire for county and TMH officials is to complete a sale of the current facility this year, and thus avoid letting the hospital, a county-owned facility, sit vacant.
Included in the MOU's stipulations are provisions agreeing to let TMH hire a real estate broker for the sale, that any offer must fit with desired county uses of the building and that a final sale decision, or buyer selection, would rest with the county.
Barry Bergman, TMH chief financial officer, told the commissioners there is at least one buyer interested in the building. That buyer asked that a hazardous materials study of the building be completed.
Final results of that test, which began last week, are not finished. However, Bergman said the tester has told TMH officials the building "was looking very good."
Commissioner Tom Gray said the hospital building's sale differs from previous sales of county-owned properties. In previous cases, the county would take the "highest and best bidder," he said.
However, given that the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association rents the southern end of the hospital building, there is a public health factor to consider, Gray said.
The extent of the VNA's involvement in the pending sale is unknown thus far.
The organization has had exploratory conversations with county and TMH officials about buying the building, though a deal, at least at this point, isn't pending.
County and hospital officials agreed the best scenario for the future of the building is the VNA taking over the facility.
"The best solution in the world would be them buying it," Bergman said.
"I think that would be best for everybody," commissioner Tom Mathers added.
The VNA, commissioners said, would figure into whatever decision is made on the hospital building's sale.
Gray said the recent discussions between the commissioners and TMH officials are small steps toward resolving questions about the building's future.
"This is going to be a process," he said.
The commission is tentatively scheduled to vote on the MOU at its Jan. 27 meeting.