Johnson County Commissioners discussed the purchase of the King Louie Building from Western Developement Company (owned by Mr. and Mrs. John Mitchell) on November 10 and 17, 2011 for the purposes of relocating the current County Museum and creating a National Museum of Suburbia. A vote of 6-1 (Mr. Ashcraft dissenting) this $2,000,000 Real Estate Purchase Contract was approved with signatures highlighted below (Note: signed same day).
Also during November 10 and 17, 2011 a great deal of discussion centered on the estimated cost of $1,600,000 to “button up” the building to make it secure and weather tight. Again on a 6-1 vote (Mr. Ashcraft dissenting) this action was approved Button Up excerpt below-
Although known to exist in large quantities, there was no attempt by the County to measure levels of asbestos and lead paint until the day after the Real Estate Purchase Contract was signed and $1,600,000 committed for immediate repairs.
The entire 72 page 208-APEXFormerKingLouieWestEnvironmentalInspectionReport may be viewed here noting it was not issued until December 8, 2011 approximately three weeks after the Real Estate Purchase Contract was signed.
Activities detailed in the $1,600,000 “Button Up” will require the removal of the asbestos and lead paint contained in the building. Why was the measure of these two hazardous waste materials not identified, or even attempted to be identified until following the signed Contract? Why was this not discussed publically? Are The Commissioners gambling on a Federal Tax Funded grant? How long will that take? Even the Real Estate Purchase Contract required it’s approval prior to December 30, 2011.
Had Mr. and Mrs. John Mitchell misled or defrauded Johnson County? They knew about the asbestos and lead paint since July 15, 2010 more than a year earlier.
State of Kansas Health Department and asbestos engineering specialists recommend this inspection should have occurred PRIOR to purchasing the property.
Albeit not issued until December 8, 2011 was the Environmental Inspection Report thorough in where to test as recommended by The State of Kansas? (From page 4)
Page 3 of the Real Estate Purchase Contract allowed The County to cancel the contract. Why didn’t they?
That leaves us with at least these possibilities:
- The Mitchells may have intentionally mislead The County.
- Collectively the Commissioners are incompetent.
- Poor County leadership.
- Poor performance by Staff. (Doubtful)
- Political reward to Commerce Bank to prevent loan default by Mitchells. (More to follow)
- Political reward to City of Overland Park to prevent condemnation scheduled for January 2012. (More to follow)
- Political reward to prevent loss of $60,000 commission to Kessinger-Hunter (real estate broker) if #5 or #6 above occurred. (More to follow)
- Political reward to prevent loss of $2,000,000 to Mitchells if #5 or #6 above occurred.
- Act of nature and unavoidable.
More to follow.