A piece of St. Joseph history will be sold.
The village board is moving forward with selling the “Boy Scout Building” located on Lincoln. The building was a former village hall and jail.
This is not the first time the board has discussed selling the property.
In 2011 the board discussed selling the building. At the time, the village subsidized the utilities at a cost of $3,000 per year.
The board decided not to sell the building after public outcry.
Eleven years later, the village board has decided now is the time to sell the building.
Village Administrator Joe Hackney said over the last 10 years the village has spent more than $80,000 on the building. Hackney said this included utilities, insurance and maintenance. This included a new roof and brickwork.
While the total sounds large, Hackney said there is actually much more than needs to be done. “This means that there are significant improvements that are needed which we have not invested in,” he said.
Hackney said the biggest expense is not the per year cost of the building, but rather the unknown potential liability that the building holds.
“The building is in need of improvements, and without proper investment, the building is a liability,” he said. “We are a very inactive owner.”
Hackney said the goal is to sell the building to someone who will put the time, energy and resources into the building so that it can continue to be a viable part of the downtown.
Hackney said another consideration is the fact that the building is used by only one community organization.
“In addition to that, the roughly $8,000 per year is a gift-in-kind to a community organization that the Village is not giving to other community organizations – there is an element of fairness which is being considered,” he said. “The Village has, and will always, value the contributions of the Boy scouts. The decision to move on from this building is in no way a negative reflection on them.”
Mayor Tami Fruhling-Voges told the board during the July 12 meeting that she has had meetings with the scout leaders and the communication has been productive. She said the leaders understand why the village is moving forward with selling the building and they also understand they will be kept updated on the progress so nothing is a surprise.
The village is currently taking bids for the Boy Scout building. Bids will be accepted until Sept. 7 at noon.