Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
  • HIB will pay to finish Meadowlark

  • HIB representatives confirmed Tuesday morning that it will pay an estimated $100,000 to finish construction on the stalled Meadowlark eco-home.

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  • HIB representatives confirmed Tuesday morning that it will pay an estimated $100,000 to finish construction on the stalled Meadowlark eco-home.
    Although official terms of the deal were not released, HIB representatives confirmed that the company would absorb the approximate $100,000 of remaining construction costs to finish the building and in exchange they will sign a 15-year lease to use the home as a local office. Greentown would retain ownership of the building, and plans to use the house as a bed-and-breakfast will go ahead as planned.
    Scott Brown, one of the more outspoken investors, reiterated that the agreement was tentative and that the group was simply making preparations in advance of any official announcements. Brown stressed that the bid to bring HIB to Greensburg was “still not done” and that the group will spend the next month “crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s.”
    Brown also added that the agreement with Greentown is contingent upon HIB building its facility in Greensburg.
    Finishing the Meadowlark Home seemed to be a priority for local HIB investors and HIB owners. The first HIB home to be built in America, has sat unfinished across from the Greentown Silo-home since last October.
    Greentown Director and Founder Daniel Wallach in an January email, stated that “..in September of last year (2011) our major funder had some issues which caused the last half of a $350,000 commitment to be put on hold. It had nothing to do with us, and we still have a very good relationship with that funder, it is just that those funds are not currently available.”
    Wallach wrote at that time that the funding cap for construction of the building was $185,000.
    “We’re delighted about all of the developments that will lead to the completion [of the Meadowlark Home],” said Greentown Executive Director Daniel Wallach. “Getting the home completed is an integral part of our vision in Greensburg. We’re really happy.”
    HIB representative Orval Howell said that if the company moves to Greensburg, they would hope to have the house completed by the May 4 weekend and that he would oversee construction of the building.
    Howell also stated that HIB would manage all of the construction funds and though the building would remain in Greentown’s ownership, involvement during the construction phase would be cursory.
    “Their concern, for obvious reasons, is getting the project done, so it will be a demonstration site for their product. The money is coming to Greentown in that the asset is ours. We’re not holding the money but everything that they are purchasing for the home is a donation to Greentown.” Wallach also made a point to take responsibility for the funding shortfalls of the Meadowlark home and said that Greentown shared in the frustration of the unfinished project. “Yes it was frustrating, and I take full responsibility for not having been able to raise the additional $200,000 to get it done.”
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