The Sarpy County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously voted to purchase the Black Hills Energy building in Papillion.
The board voted 5-0 on an agreement to buy the move-in ready office building at 1102 East 1st Street in Papillion for $6 million. Acquiring the building requires no property tax dollars. The County will use Inheritance Tax Funds to finance the purchase.
“This building is a great opportunity and investment. The cost of this building is half what it would cost to build something new, and it will allow us to address a number of immediate issues we’ll face during the construction of the new jail,” said Don Kelly, Chairman of the Sarpy County Board of Commissioners. “Ultimately, this building will help us better serve our citizens.”
Sarpy County has been studying the entire Courthouse Campus at 84th Street and Highway 370 in conjunction with the new jail, which is under design now. The new jail will be larger, help address overcrowding and better serve the needs of the state’s fastest-growing county.
Building the new jail in an existing parking lot next to the Courthouse will allow the County to create a secure connection between the two buildings, improving security in both facilities. However, it creates a parking shortage on the Courthouse Campus. The County will remove the two aging office buildings on the east side of the Courthouse to create additional parking.
This effort has involved months of planning that began before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The county is continuing to analyze any financial implications the virus may have on county revenues.
“We’ve approached this purchase conservatively and cautiously,” Kelly said. “We cannot stand still during the pandemic and we need to make sure we have the facilities in place that allow us to serve a growing population.”
Purchasing the Black Hills building will also produce cost savings for the County. Sarpy currently pays $300,000 annually to lease office space, which will not be needed with the addition of the new building. Also, the County will save on maintenance and utility costs for the aging office buildings that will be torn down.
The $6 million building purchase comes with all the building’s existing office equipment, tables, cubicles, desks, chairs and breakroom equipment, meaning the space is move-in ready. Current plans call for some county employees to move into the Black Hills building in the fall.
See more information about the purchase here.
Learn more about the new jail at Sarpy.com/jail.