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Property 'Interests' Council But Not Price Owners Asking

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[image]:  The city is considering buying this building at 209-211 N. Fourth Ave.

Property 'Interests’ Council But Not Price Owners Asking

“Interest” in the purchase of a building at 209-211 N. Fourth Ave. was expressed by the City Council last night.

However, there was one item preventing action in the “interest” area — that being the $31,600 price tag placed on the property by the Colored Welfare League, owners of the property.

City Administrator Guy C. Larcom Jr. said he would recommend the purchase of the building if it cost the city only $6,000 to $8,000. He said the city has been interested for some time in buying the property to extend an alley to N. Fourth.

He said if the alley were opened up, it would be a definite benefit to the city in its rubbish pickup program. “At present trucks can go only part way in,” Larcom said.

“One of the problems is that the alley is surrounded on three sides by buildings and it has become a dumping grounds,” he said. However, he added, “I can't say running an alley through is worth any sizeable expenditure.”

First Ward Councilman John D. Teachout said one of the adjacent properly owners has expressed an interest in purchasing part of the land if the city buys the building and tears it down. However, the greater portion of land available for parking would be on the opposite side and that property owner is not interested at present, Larcom said.

Mayor Cecil O. Creal noted that the city’s Building and Safety Engineering Department has issued three pages of code violations against the building and “if the City isn’t interested, the owners will have to bring it up to code.” Creal recommended that the council authorize the obtaining of two estimates by private firms, but the council would not go along with the proposal.

The council did, however, pass a resolution stating it was “interested" in buying the building if it could be obtained at reasonable price. It authorized Larcom to negotiate with the owners in an attempt to lower the price and also contact adjacent property owners to determine if they would participate.

If the building is not brought up to code, it will be condemned and must then be torn down. Fourth Ward Councilman Richard G. Walterhouse’s motion that the council authorize the Building and Safety Engineering Department to order the building torn down immediately died for lack of a second.

Second Ward Councilman-William E. Bandemer said the building was unfit for use and asked if the council was going to set a precedent of acquiring condemned property that can’t be fixed by the owners.  "Has it been an overwhelming consideration on the part of the city to buy the property?" he asked. "If so, I’m willing to go along with further negotiations.”

Despite unfavorable remarks by some councilmen, the motion to express an interest in the purchase passed unanimously by voice vote.