LANCASTER - The Garrard County farm, which served the poor and homeless for decades, brought $481,800 at auction Saturday. Divided into 26 tracts, the 147-acre property was snatched up by a dozen different buyers.
The farm was offered as a whole starting at $485,000 after the individual bidding, but there were no takers.
County officials, who had expected the farm to bring between $350,00 and $400,000, will invest the proceeds and use them to make payments on Garrard's $4.295 million debt to the Kentucky Association of Counties. KACO arranged a $4.5 million loan in 2001 in an effort to save the county's hospital, which closed last summer.
The most expensive tracts went to farmer Larry Reece, who already owns 711 acres adjacent to the farm. He paid $38,000 a piece for two tracts totaling 20 acres.
Reece, however, guessed wrong on what 25 acres next to his property would bring and saw Jim Minteer of Danville get the three tracts for $25,500 each.