WATERLOO — Seneca County is buying the former BonaDent building on North Road in Seneca Falls.
Seneca County Manager John Sheppard said the Board of Supervisors recently met in executive session to discuss the purchase of the vacant building and directed him to negotiate the price and other details.
In a written statement, Sheppard said the cost will be $3.2 million. He said $2.5 million of that will come from revenue received by the county from the del Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre under terms of its permit with the state.
The other $700,000 would come from the state through an allocation in the state budget to partially offset property tax income not paid by the Cayuga Indian Nation.
“The purchase of the property would not increase the county’s property tax levy and will help ensure uninterrupted municipal services,’’ Sheppard said.
The public and mental health departments are currently housed in a building at 31 Thurber Drive, Waterloo. However, the 16,000-square-foot building, which was built in 1981, requires significant refurbishment to remain in municipal service, and Sheppard said “it is not fiscally appropriate to do so.’’
He said a recent commercial appraiser’s opinion was that the building has market value of $550,000 to $650,000. Sheppard said the necessary repairs and upgrades to keep it in municipal service would exceed $1 million.
Plans are for the Thurber Drive building to be vacated and sold.
Sheppard said 20,000 square feet of the former BonaDent building will be used by the county according to a facilities use plan. A request for proposals for that plan will be issued soon.
An additional 24,000 square feet of the building will be leased to offset utility and maintenance expenses. One tenant will be a community day care center, available to the entire community and sponsored by the del Lago Resort & Casino.
Sheppard said it’s not likely the mental health department would move to the new building because of concerns over the mental health and substance abuse programs being in the same building as the day care center. He said other county departments in the nearby County Office Building at 1 DiPronio Drive could be moved to the BonaDent building and the public and mental health departments moved to the County Office Building.
The North Road building was completed in 2000 as the home of BonaDent Inc., a denture making business founded by the Bonafiglia family in 1949 and now run by Bruce Bonafiglia. BonaDent purchased the former Wal-Mart store on Routes 5&20 and remodeled that building for its business in 2012.
Sheppard said BonaDent will renovate its former building to meet the county’s needs as part of the $3.2 million purchase price.