The former recycling center on Baker Street will remain City property after all. City council members voted 6-1 Monday to turn down a purchase offer.
Council members considered an offer from Ernie Schultz to buy the vacant building for $30,000, but they first wanted the opinion of a real estate agent to learn if the offer was a good one.
City administrator/clerk Michael Sessions spoke to Realtor Brad Frederick who confirmed that Schultz’s offer was fair. Schultz intended to use the building to store automobiles.
Council’s opposition to the sale soon became apparent during a committee meeting before the regular meeting.
Councilor Brenda Spiess said that if jobs were being created through the sale of the building, she would likely support the sale, but since it would be used for storage, she doesn’t favor the transaction.
“It is a downtown building that could potentially in the future be a job creator,” she said, and council member Ron Apger agreed.
Mayor Bill Foster said he thinks the building is of more value to the City if it retain ownership, whether for future jobs or as a training center for the fire department. Shortly before Schultz submitted his offer, council voted to allow the fire department to use the structure.
Councilor Pearl Phelps was the only member to favor the sale.
“It is a good offer,” she said, “and it’s sitting there now with nothing coming from it.”
She doesn’t think the building would be attractive to someone setting up a business.
“There’s too much future for a centralized building,” Apger countered. “Once it’s gone, it’s gone.”
Phelps cast the only “no” vote when the issued was brought up in the regular council meeting.