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By VINCE LUECKE
TELL CITY – A bid made by the brother of a Tell City councilman for a former fire station was accepted Monday, capping a two-month process of finding a new owner for the building.
Brian Cail, brother of City Councilman Chris Cail, bid $34,379.63 for the building earlier this month but the board of public works and safety tabled action to consider that offer as well as Nita Claise’s proposal to swap the building for eight lots she and her husband own near Roy Fenn Park.
An initial set of bids was opened in November but they failed to meet a requirement that any bid accepted by the city exceed 90 percent of the building’s appraised value.
After declining those offers, the works board was no longer bound by any minimums.
As he did at the board’s Dec. 3 meeting, board member Gerald Yackle recommended Cail’s cash offer.
“The money will go into the general fund where it’s needed. We all know we’ve taken (budget) hits,” Yackle said.
Mayor Barbara Ewing said she appreciated both offers and said there had been discussion about the Claise’s land being used as an auxiliary youth soccer field. The lots are adjacent to Roy Fenn Park, which already hosts numerous soccer events.
However, there was some concern over whether the lots’ location next to a creek might make them prone to flooding.
The vote to accept Cail’s bid was unanimous.
Chris Cail said he plans to lease the building from his brother for a new printing business. He said the building will be modernized with new doors, awning and other improvements.
Visitors Center Update
The city’s visitors and event center remains on schedule, Ewing said as part of her regular update to the board on the Seventh Street project.
Peter Hunt, project manager for the state’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, was in the city Tuesday to inspect the project. A combination of grant money and proceeds from the sale of homes under a Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant is funding the $1 million building.
Completion is expected early in 2013 and Ewing complimented the ongoing cooperation among contractors.
With work taking place outside as well as the installation of floors and other work in the building’s interior, crews are partnering to make sure the work goes smoothly.
Once finished the center will house the county’s visitors bureau.
The city’s common council set a special meeting for noon Dec. 27 to conduct year-end transfers of money between funds.
That meeting will be the last for city leaders in 2012. The works board and city council will next meet Jan. 7 with the city’s water board convening its first meeting of the new year Jan. 21.