The Clintonville Library Board will be purchasing a piece of property adjacent to the current location of the library.
At the Clintonville City Council meeting, Monday, Jan. 19, Jamison Hein, director of the Clintonville Public Library, informed the council that the library wanted to purchase a piece of property adjacent to the current location of the library. He said the property would be purchased with library funds.
“We’ve already taken money out of the CD that was up for renewal at the beginning of this year, so we have the funds to purchase it,” Hein said. “We’ve already made contact with the nephew of the property owner and have already settled on a price with him.”
He said council approval was needed for the Clintonville Library Board to move forward with the purchase.
During discussion, Alderwoman Mary-Beth Kuester said she knows the family that owns the property so she knew what was going on regarding the property. She clarified that the council had to approve the spending of the money, but not the purchase of the property.
Kuester added that the transaction was a simply process and she was surprised the library board decided to hire its own counsel, and not use the services of Clintonville City Attorney April Dunlavy.
Hein said the library board decided to seek outside counsel, “due to the complexities of library law and real estate laws and such for this transaction.”
Alderwoman Lois Bressette, who is also on the library board, asked how Kuester received that information because that was discussed by the library board in closed session.
Bressette also confirmed that the library board wanted legal counsel well versed in real estate law.
Kuester said she received the information from the family that owns the property.
Alderman Mark Doornink asked what the property was going to be used for.
Hein said there were no confirmed plans for the property.
“We felt that since it was adjacent to our current location that it would be useful property and we could see in the future what we could use it for,” Hein said.
Bressette added that the owner of the property approached the library board and offered the property to the library.
Alderman John Wilson asked how much the city’s tax roll would be reduced if the library board bought the property.
City of Clintonville Clerk Treasurer Peggy Johnson said she didn’t know offhand what that figure was. Kuester said that the appraisal for the property was $25,000. She added that the house is in disrepair, and the value in the property was its location. She said the sale price was $30,000.
The council unanimously approved the purchase. Alderwoman Amy Steenbock and Alderman Bill Zeinert were excused from the meeting.
Clintonville Director of Public Works Toby Kersten asked the council to approve a land lease agreement with Randy Erickson for 125 acres at $110 per acre. It would be a two year contract at $13,750 per year.
Kuester asked what the rent per acre is for the other land the city leases out.
“It’s much higher, but that land has been farmed continually year after year,” Kersten said. “This hasn’t been farmed, in, I’d say, 50-60 years. Plus it’s been wooded. … Land is hard to come by so I think it’s a pretty respectable amount for the condition of the soil.”
Wilson asked about manure liability.
Kersten said that would be the farmer’s responsibility. He added that it would be a good idea to consult with the city attorney about that. The city attorney was not present at the meeting.
Interim City Administrator Chuck Kell said the item was on the agenda because Kersten is the Airport Manager and the proposed lease is with his wife’s parents. Kell said the land rental was put out on bid, and this was the only bid that was received.
“I think it’s important that you’re aware of that,” Kell said.
Kersten told the board that not only will the city receive $13,750 per year, but leasing the land will also reduce the amount of money the city spends on summer maintenance mowing the land and removing brush.
“This is, in my eyes, a huge win-win for the airport and our budget,” Kersten said.
The council unanimously approved the land lease. Steenbock and Zienert were excused from the meeting.
The council adjourned into close session to discuss past due airport lease payments.
When it reconvened in open session, Clintonville Mayor Judy Magee made the following announcement, “The council has instructed the city attorney to take the necessary action on the collection of past due airport lease.”