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Seek best possible price

Monroe County commissioners cannot continue pouring money into the Monroe Care Center. Their responsibility to taxpayers makes that clear. But for the very same reason, commissioners have a duty to obtain the most money they can through any arrangement to sell the facility.

In order to keep the center open and qualified to receive reimbursements from the Medicaid and Medicare programs, the county has spent more than $6 million during the past few years, according to Commissioner Tim Price. That cost is unsustainable in a county the size of Monroe.

So, last month, commissioners signed a letter of intent to sell the center to Bryan Casey, president of Alternative Living solutions. The price stipulated is $500,000.

But the decision was made by a divided commission. Price and Commissioner Carl Davis voted to sell the center. Commissioner Mick Schumacher objected.

Now, county resident Carson McCurdy is questioning the process by which the purchase agreement was reached. He contends commissioners failed to comply with state law requiring newspaper advertisements of a planned sale of county property. McCurdy also believes a public auction should have been held.

And, McCurdy says he may offer more than $500,000 for the center. Schumacher continues to oppose the sale.

It may be that $500,000 is the best commissioners can do. McCurdy has made no firm commitment to offer more. And whether commissioners complied with the law on sale of public property is up to a court to decide. If the matter goes before a judge who rules the sale agreement was proper, the matter may be closed.

But if a court rules that commissioners erred and must begin the sale process anew, they should make every reasonable effort to get the best price possible.

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