|NEGOTIATIONS TO BEGIN|
LIBRARY DISCUSSION 8-19-15 LMS
Most members of the Salmon City Council are unanimous in thinking it would be nice to have the Library Building but not all actually want it.
At the August 19 meeting Councilman Ken Hill was the first to say he thinks the building should be purchased for future possibilities because if it goes to another buyer it is gone for good. He said he thinks good uses could be made of the building such as an expanded museum and a visitor center. He said he doesn’t want to later regret not buying it. Hill also said he believes the Library Board is willing to negotiate on the price.
Councilman Jim Baker is not in favor of a purchase. He said he can’t think of any way to use the building and that the city owned land under the building can be sold. He said a discourse with the Library Board is needed and that the council has heard nothing official from the board. He sees ownership of the building as an on-going maintenance and heating expense.
Councilman Fred Waidely has mixed emotions. He said he would love to have it but doesn’t know how it could be used. His personal opinion would result in a ‘no’ vote but he said everyone he has talked to wants the city to buy the building. Waidely said he took the City Council job to represent constituents therefore he would have to vote ‘yes’ and added it could always be sold later.
Councilman Russ Chinske said he wants to hear more from citizens and pointed out the lack of a counter offer. His thought is that if a purchase that fits within the budget now and in the long term could be worked out, a way would be found to use the building and hopefully make it self-sufficient. He also said right now there are other projects to consider, such as the Island Park Bridge, so the most important issue of a building purchase is fitting it into the budget.
Councilman Rob Jackson agreed with both Chinske and Waidely in that everyone is for the purchase. He believes the Police Department needs to be downtown but the purchase also needs to fit the budget without increasing taxes.
Councilman Jim Bockelman stated he has always said he would like to see the city own the building however he sees no way to finance the purchase or what to do with the added space. He does not agree that the whole Police Department should move downtown and suggested perhaps establishing a downtown office, which could be done without having to own the Library Building. He agreed with Waidely that the public wants the city to purchase the building. He said the current asking price is $265,000 but other than the board saying it is willing to negotiate payments there have been no active negotiations. Bockelman said if a vote were to be taken that evening he would have to vote ‘no.’ He added that a vote needed to be taken that night so the Library Board can know whether or not to put the building on the market.
Hill made a motion to immediately and actively pursue discussions with the Library Board regarding purchase of the building and to work out details. The resulting vote was Hill, Waidely, Chinske, Jackson and Bockelman voting yes to negotiations and Baker voting no.
It was decided that Ken Hill and Mayor Leo Marshall will meet with Ann Loucks of the Library Board to initiate talks.
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