The effort to move Hempstead County’s seat of government to its fourth courthouse in 199 years progressed Wednesday December 20th as Hempstead County Judge Haskell Morse and Bruce Maloch of Farmers Bank & Trust signed the papers at the real estate closing which results in the county purchasing the bank for $1.5 million dollars. Farmers will continue to occupy the building for another 12 to 18 month through a lease with the county while the new bank is built across the street on the corner of Third and Walnut next to Hope Outdoor Power & Equipment. Maloch noted the bank was happy to work with the county and have worked with other counties and cities in facilitating the transfer of surplus property. Specifically, he noted how the bank helped Magnolia acquire a former savings and loan facility for what became Magnolia City Hall.
Judge Morse was joined by JP’s Olen Dorman, Ed Darling, and Cherry Stewart. Also on hand was Hempstead County Clerk Karen Smith, Treasurer Judy Lee, and Assesor Kim Smith. Pat Harris represented Hempstead Colunty Abstract, and Farmers Bank Hope President Paul Ball was also on hand for the closing.