December 22, 2016 by Caitlin Ware
After months of research and discussion, the Guthrie County Board of Supervisors conveyed the former site of Country View Estates to Brenda Rose during a public hearing on December 20.
Since earlier this year, Rose has expressed interest in turning the old assisted living facility into Firefly Creek Ranch, a non-profit, farm-style adult board and care home. And now, as the new owner of the property, she will have the chance to make her dream a reality.
“For the last two years, I’ve been working to bring something special to Guthrie County,” Rose said. “We believe this is something that is very worthwhile for the community, and we’re ready to go with it.”
Before the board of supervisors made a decision on whether of not the property would be conveyed to Rose, a $20,000 offer on the property came in from audience member Myrlen Simmons. While he did not have specific plans for the area, he did express interest in fixing up the buildings and cleaning the property.
Although Rose’s offer on the property was only $1 — due to the non-profit status she hopes to achieve — she responded that she would be willing to put together her resources for whatever offer the board needed.
“I don’t want to get into an auction war, I know there’s deeper value in this than a dollar amount,” Rose said. “Whatever it takes to make this happen, I’ll have the resources to make it happen.”
Despite the additional offer, the board believed Rose’s idea was stronger, as it had a cohesive business plan, and would bring jobs and community enrichment with it.
“Looking at the best interest of the county, she already has everything set up and ready to roll,” said board member Mike Dickson. “I think that’s something we have to look at. She has a business plan put together, she has an idea of what to do with it. A very viable offer, I do believe.”
When the time came to vote, board member Tom Rutledge voted against the decision to convey the property to Rose. His hesitation did not stem from negative feelings about her, or her plans for Firefly Creek Ranch, he said. Instead, he felt that the details of the conveyance were not “black and white.”
“I wish stuff was a little more (clear) on paper so people know what they’re getting into,” Rutledge said. “I wish we’d taken a little more time.”
Ultimately, the remaining board members voted to convey the property to Rose, who hopes to have the facility up and running by summer 2017. Ideally, cleanup of the property will begin soon, Rose said. And she hopes to partner with local 4-H members and youth groups to get young people in the community involved in the project as well.
“It’s a good thing, I’m feeling like it was supposed to happen,” Rose said of the hearing’s outcome. “It’s gonna be an awesome thing to see (Firefly Creek Ranch) come together.”
Courtesy of Caitlin Ware, Guthrie County Vedette, 12/22/2016.