Pontotoc County Commissioners unanimously approved construction of a new building and 99 year lease agreement for the Pontotoc County Health Department at their weekly meeting Monday.

The commercial ground lease is by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

The 8.26 acre tract of land on the north side of E. Arlington is owned by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and approximately half will be leased to Pontotoc County for the construction of a new building for the Pontotoc County Health Department. DHS and the Health Department are currently housed in the Lonnie Abbott building on E. Beverly. The Chickasaw Nation purchased the building late last year and has asked all tenants to relocate by November of 2008.

Pontotoc County Health Department Administrative Director Michael Echelle said the building will be funded through the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority. ODFA will go through the Bond Authority of the State of Oklahoma for lease-revenue bonds to be sold for the financing of the equipment and construction of the building.

ODFA will actually construct and own the building until the financing, projected to be 15 years, is complete. During this time, ODFA will lease the building to Pontotoc County who, in turn, will sub-lease the building to the Pontotoc County Health Department.

Echelle said the building will be an asset to Pontotoc County.

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