Notice of a call for a Special Convention of the Kansas Farmers Unionat 3:00 PM on Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 at the Best Western Holiday Manor, McPherson

This special convention is called for the single purpose of possibly selling the Kansas Farmers Union state office building located at 901 W First St. McPherson Ks.
Vote will be by the delegates of the counties.
Pursuant to the Kansas Farmers Union’s bylaws, section 12, I, Donn Teske, president of the Kansas Farmers Union, upon the direction of a majority of the board of directors of Kansas Farmers Union call for a Special Convention of the Kansas Farmers Union.

Charter and By Laws of the Kansas Farmers Union
Sec 12: Special Conventions
A majority of the board of directors may call a special convention at any time or five percent of the members in the state residing in at least one-forth of the chartered counties may petition for a special convention stating the specific business to be brought before that convention. Such a meeting must there upon be called by the president. Only such business as is specifically stated in the call shall be considered. Notice of such special convention, together with a statement of the purpose, shall be transmitted to the officer and elected delegates of each county organization at least fifteen (15) days prior to the convention.

Please see the building background article below.
I encourage everyone attending the Special Convention to take the time to come into town early to view the KFU offices.
Delegates may choose to participate in the Special Convention via conference call if they are unable to travel to McPherson.
The delegate will need to contact Callie in advance to receive the conference call-in information.

Donn Teske
President,  Kansas Farmers Union

Background on the Building

The Kansas Farmers Union has been approached by Todd Whitehill, McPherson County Farmers Union insurance agent, about possibly purchasing the KFU office building. Todd is currently a renter in the building and has clients across much of central Kansas.

The KFU board of directors met with Todd Whitehill on October 4th and at that time Todd submitted an Intent to Purchase and requested a decision by the end of October.

The KFU board of directors recommended that KFU should sell the building to Todd upon the approval of the KFU membership and requested a Special Convention be called.

History and factors to consider:

In 1991 Kansas Farmers Union purchased its state office building, that it had long rented, for $210,000.

The building was constructed in two parts at different times. One part measures 80 ft x 40 ft and the other measures 110 ft x 40 ft. It has 7,600 sq ft of space with about 30 rooms for office space and workrooms. When the second building was constructed, a design flaw led to serious roof leakage where the two buildings join.

It was occupied by many entities over the years, most associated with KFU and FU insurances. At its height, it was occupied by KFU, the FU insurance agency, FU insurance claims, Greenthumb & others.

Through recent years it was occupied by KFU, FU claims, the local FU insurance agent, a hearing aid business and Big Brothers. During this time rental income covered the expense of owning the building.

In December of 2012, the current owners of Farmers Union Insurance, QBE, chose to cease renting office space for their claims agents in our building. In May the hearing aid business moved out. The loss of these two entities has taken away $1,815 per month in rental income. So far neither of these spaces has rented back out despite serious attempts to do so.

Current occupants of the building are KFU, Todd Whitehill Insurance, Big Brothers, Head Start, and Kevin Dubbert (a NFU insurance claims agent who chose to come back and rent one room). Monthly total rental income is $875.

In 1993 an overcoating seal was applied to the roof. The overcoating seal has since deteriorated on the 110 x 40 part of the building to the point we have persistent leaks and the roof needs to be addressed.

The building has seen only minor remodeling since it was built in the 1970s and badly needs to be remodeled.

Taxes on the building are around $7,000 per year, utilities around $4,500 and insurance around $5,200. Current county valuation of the building is $174,500.
For some time now the board has discussed putting dollars into roof stabilization and remodeling of the office spaces. We would have to fill those rental spaces to make this work and right now McPherson seems to have empty office spaces for rent all around the town.

Now we have this offer from Todd Whitehill and the KFU board feels selling the building is the prudent thing to do.

Plans would be to still maintain our KFU presence in the building. Instead of Whitehill insurance renting from us, we would be renting from Whitehill Insurance.