Marion council considers options for marketing vacant building


The Marion City Council agreed at its June 24 meeting to give its new economic development director leeway in marketing the vacant property at 828 N. Roosevelt St.

Roger Holter said he wanted to list the property on the Location One site for national marketing. He also is considering a state site that would provide exposure for committees selecting sites for out-of-area businesses.

“In order to effectively list and market the property,” Holter asked the council:

• What is the asking price for the property?

• Could the property be offered for lease as well as purchase?

• If leasing is acceptable, at what monthly or annual rate?

• Could the property be divided and leased as two separate units?

Holter proposed that the council consider a sale price of $198,500. If available for lease, Holter suggest a monthly rate of $2,350 for a lease-purchase arrangement.

“I would propose we divide the building and lease the halves on a short-term basis not to exceed a one-year term,” he said.

Holter said, considering current economic conditions, the city likely would not get responses if it used the current mortgage of $235,000 as its asking price.

Mayor Mary Olson asked if anyone has approached the city about buying the building through a lease-purchase arrangement.

City Administrator Doug Kjellin said whether a buyer preferred a cash purchase or a lease purchase, the cash outlay would be the same.

“It would just depend on how they want to finance it,” he said. “I think both options should be on the table.”

Kjellin said he thinks Holter is asking for some latitude so he can research ways to move a transaction forward.

“A little bit of something is better than all of nothing,” Kjellin said of the reduced price. He added that council will have the final say on any proposal.

Other business

In other business, the council:

• directed Kjellin to send the Union Pacific Railroad representative a letter to reopen the crossing at Burbridge and Grant streets as it comes into the Jex Addition.

• approved sale of an industrial park lot for $4,500.

• approved a long-term lease for parking area at the Elgin Hotel Bed and Breakfast.

• heard Kjellin report that Susan Robson, city attorney, is researching appropriate fees for the city’s shooting range.

“The costs will not necessarily be prohibitive, but we also don’t want ‘Wild West’ down there either,” he said.

• agreed to have a budgetary work session at 5 p.m. July 1.

• reviewed the city’s ordinance regarding the sale and discharge of fireworks in the city. Kjellin said fireworks can be set off from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 1 and 2; and 9 a.m. to midnight July 3 and 4. No fireworks should be discharged July 5.

The next council meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 8, at Marion City Hall, 208 Santa Fe St.


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