By Frederick Bader
HALSTEAD – The tale of the Halstead Hospital building could enter a new chapter.
On Jan. 25, the Kansas Supreme Court denied an appeal by current hospital owner Azzy Reckess and his company AZP Realty to stave off the sale of the Halstead Hospital building and associated properties in a tax sale, a ruling that came to the Harvey County administration’s knowledge last week.
The denial of AZP Realty’s appeal means the hospital could move toward an auction to satisfy hundreds of thousands of dollars of unpaid property taxes.
County administrator John Waltner says the county will sell the properties off at a later date. “At this point, our plans are simply to give it a little bit of time to see if anything else comes out on the part of Azzy and his legal counsel,” Waltner said. “If not, we’ll proceed with plans to set a sale date and move forward.”
The hospital building, clinic and parking lot were set to go to sheriff’s sale nearly a year ago, in March 2015, but the sale was stalled after Reckess filed an appeal alleging that the county had wrongfully evaluated his properties during an assessment procedure. The county had opted to seize the properties and sell them because Reckess owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes.
As of this week, that number totals $613,100.74 in taxes and fees, according to documentation from the Harvey County Treasurer’s Office.
To read more, see this week's print edition.