January 23, 2023 |

In Saratoga, Valley Village Childcare faces more hurdles before it can move into the Corbett Medical Building as planned.

During Tuesday’s Saratoga Town Council meeting, Valley Village Childcare Vice-Chairperson Ellie Dana updated the council on the plan to move the daycare into the clinic building.

The Platte Valley Clinic occupies the Corbett Medical Building now. When the new hospital in Saratoga opens in a month or two, the clinic will move into the newly constructed facility. Once the Corbett Medical Building becomes vacant, Valley Village and ExCel Preschool have plans to take over. Bringing the building into compliance with government regulations on childcare requires extensive repairs and upgrades.

In 1994, the Corbett Medical Foundation donated the clinic building to the town of Saratoga. As the landlord, the town has deferred maintenance on the building for years. Dana has estimated a cost of nearly $500,000 to bring the building up to state and federal specs.

With the blessing of the Corbett Medical Foundation, the town has agreed to sell the building to Valley Village Childcare for $1, making the daycare financially responsible for the needed remodeling.

As part of the process, Dana obtained an appraisal. The cost was split with the town. The assessor errored by including a plot of land in the valuation that is not part of the deal. Dana told the council another appraisal will be needed because of the mistake and that she will pay for it.

Pictured above: File photo of the Ray A. Corbett Medical Building. Photo by Bigfoot 99.

A new appraisal means allowing another three weeks for the public to comment on the sale. But that’s not the last step. Even after the new appraisal is accepted, Valley Village Childcare would have no legal access to the clinic parking lot. Dana said an easement from the town is required. In 1997, John Johnson, owner of the ANCO building, which houses the Valley Pharmacy, was granted a “perpetual non-exclusive easement for ingress, egress, and parking of motor vehicles” across a tract of town owned land. Dana said she would like the same agreement.

Councilman Jerry Fluty said he was concerned that since the parking lot is shared by several businesses one of them could attempt to take ownership over a portion of the lot. He said he didn’t want one business, using an easement, to forbid access to other customers by claiming a section of the parking lot as their own. Dana said the agreement wouldn’t allow that.

Referring to the appraisal, Mayor Chuck Davis laid the fault squarely at the feet of the assessor. He said the deed was written correctly. Mayor Davis said former town attorney, Jane France, said altering the deed would be more difficult than completing another appraisal.

A public hearing will be held on February 21st, at 5:30 p.m., to discuss the easement. When the new appraisal is completed, it will be advertised. Afterwards, a new series of public comment meetings will be held.

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