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Commission declines counteroffer to purchase Ringdahl EMS building

The Stutsman County Commission met Tuesday, Aug. 2.

ambulance building.jpg
The Stutsman County Commission approved to decline a counteroffer to purchase the Ringdahl EMS building.
Kathy Steiner / The Jamestown Sun file photo
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JAMESTOWN – The Stutsman County Commission approved 3-0 to decline a counteroffer to purchase the Ringdahl EMS building and renegotiate a purchase agreement with a triple net lease with the seller. 

Commissioner Denny Ova was not present for the vote Tuesday, Aug. 2, and Commissioner Ramone Gumke abstained from the vote since his company would be a subcontractor for the proposed construction of a new 150-by-60-foot heated storage building.

The negotiation of the lease will include charging market-rate rental prices for office space, the upper level and heated garage space. The market-rate rental prices are about $12 a square foot for office space and $5 a square foot for heated garage space, Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser said.

Kaiser said the original asking price was $850,000 and Stutsman County made an offer for $815,000 to purchase the building. A counteroffer of $835,000 was made that includes the seller, Ringdahl Inc., leasing back the main floor, upper level and about half of the shop area for one year at about $4,580 per month, or $55,000, for the first year. The counteroffer also includes changing the lease to month to month at $6,200 per month. Ringdahl would pay for all utilities throughout the lease occupancy. 

Kaiser said he does the leases for the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the North Dakota Highway Patrol for the agencies to be in the Stutsman County Law Enforcement Center. He said the going rate for an office space rental is $12 per square foot.

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He also talked with a real estate agent who said the market rental rate is $5 per square foot for a heated garage space. 

“The $55,000, that's what I figure $5 a square foot so he is using garage space for the whole thing as far as the numbers go,” Kaiser said. 

Commissioner Steve Cichos said a triple-net lease with Ringdahl would mean the lessee would pay for everything, including taxes, insurance and maintenance. 

Kaiser said the county would be spending $835,000 for a building that can’t be used for two years. He said he can fit three units that are stored in the National Guard building in the remaining space that would be left for the Sheriff’s Office, but it would be tight.

Gumke said it makes zero sense to purchase a building that needs work and barely fits the current needs of the Sheriff’s Office. 

“It’s not fully functional as far as operations of storage, getting in and out of there,” he said. “Who knows what our needs are 10 years from now.”

Kaiser previously told the county commission the Ringdahl building needs about $10,000 worth of work, a new generator estimated between $20,000 to $25,000 and an air exchanger, if needed, for about $70,000. 

Kaiser said the current bid expires Thursday, Aug. 4, and the next bid will be about $250,000 higher. The proposed new storage building will cost more than $1.2 million to construct.

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If constructed, the new storage building would be near the existing Stutsman County park shop, which is located between two sets of trees on the west side of Lakeside Campground on Jamestown Reservoir. 

The county commission unanimously approved the requests from county departments for the use of American Rescue Plan Act dollars. The approval was tentative and did not include the more than $1.3 million to construct a proposed storage building for the Sheriff’s Office or for the purchase of the Ringdahl building.

Expenditures for the more than $4 million in ARPA funds include more than $112,000 in upgrades to the road department’s main shop; replacing two rooftop air-conditioning units at the Stutsman County Law Enforcement Center for $600,000; more than $355,000 for courthouse maintenance; and more than $100,000 for wide-format printer replacement, audio/video upgrades to the Whitney room and law enforcement center meeting rooms and furniture replacement in the commission room.

More than $1.3 million for the storage building for the Sheriff’s Office was also left in the ARPA requests.

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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