Marla Jones, Managing Editor
After nearly ten years of legal negotiations, the City of Fort Payne is the new owner of the abandoned DeKalb County Hospital located on Forrest Avenue.
The hospital was built in 1950. It was sold to the DeKalb Baptist Medical Center in 1983. It was used until the new DeKalb Regional Medical Center was built in 1986. The building was then used as an assisted living home before concerns of asbestos and lead paint surfaced. The building was abandoned and has been an eyesore for years.
In 2017, the cost to tear the hospital down was estimated at at least a half-million dollars. The City of Fort Payne began applying for grants to cover the cost of demolition. The City received $450,000 earlier this year to go toward the cost. The City then started the process to buy the mortgage from AJ Partners LLC.
At Tuesday's meeting of the Fort Payne City Council, City Attorney Rocky Watson advised that the City of Fort Payne was assigned the foreclosure mortgage and conducted a foreclosure sale on July 7.
At the foreclosure auction, the City of Fort Payne were the only bidders on the property. The City purchased the property for $100,000. The City will not have to exchange any money for the property, giving credit to the amount owed on the mortgage, which with interest is over 1.3 million dollars. The City will now start the process of tearing down the hospital.
Since the cost of the teardown and removal of the hospital will be over $50,000, it is considered a Capital Project and must be bid out. The City will be to draw up the plans and advertise bids for the removal.
Watson stated that the hospital demolition could possibly occur in approximately 60 days.