Council votes to purchase property
The city is purchasing two parcels that are located next to the building. The total cost is $100,000.
"We hope to close as soon as reasonably possible," said Interim City Administrator Bill Forrest.
The Common Council voted Monday, June 18 to proceed with the offers to purchase the two separate pieces of property.
The decision took place in open session following a closed session discussion about purchasing the parcels.
The city is purchasing the property at 105 E. Main St. from First National Bank for $65,000 and the property at 107 E. Main St. from Bob Witt for $35,000, Forrest said.
Witt had closed on the property at 107 E. Main St. within the last month, planning to turn the space into office use. "He offered the city first right of refusal," Forrest said.
A proposed expansion plan for City Hall requires both parcels.
"It's one of those situations where it kind of came kind of fast," Forrest said.
He said the Common Council did express concerns that some may thing the city is moving too quickly.
"The expansion plans for the remodeling and expansion are down the road," Forrest said. "The council wants to make sure it gets good, sound involvement (from the public)."
Witt indicated to the city that he was prepared to immediately begin remodeling the building at 107 E. Main St. for his own business purposes, Forrest said.
If the city had approached Witt after the remodeling about the desire to purchase the building, the asking price would have been higher, he said.
The funding for the purchase of the two parcels will come out of the city's capital fund, Forrest said.
"They had set aside money several years for City Hall remodeling purposes," he said.
Plans call for public informational meetings to be held in the future.
Three expansion options were previously presented to the council, ranging in cost from $1.69 million to $2.08 million.
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