By Seth Gecko
Two members of New Carlisle City Council expressed concerns about the City's plan to purchase the building at 101 S. Main St. at Council's March 18 meeting.
"101 S. Main is appraised by the County Auditor at $115,000. We're spending $153,000," said Council Member Ron Cobb. "When we get it done, we'll be paying close to a $500,000 bill." He said Council needs to "look into it more."
Council Member Bill Cook was concerned about backlash from the community. He also said that building a new building would be well over one million dollars.
City Manager Randy Bridge said that the city has been paying $22,400 annually in rent for 18 years. "That is money that we're not getting back." He said that an asbestos inspector told him that there is not much to be worried about and that a structural engineer assured him that the building is structurally sound.
"This is going to cost some up-front funds. No one is denying that," said Bridge, "but it's also a means to an end."
"We are going back downtown," said Bridge. "We will provide foot traffic to our downtown businesses."
"Council approved the ordinance on March 29. I'm signing it." he said.
In response to a question about parking, Bridge said that there would be diagonal parking on Washington Street with handicap spaces and two spaces reserved for those conducting quick city business. City employees would park in the municipal lot off of Church St. He also said that the city doesn't get a lot of foot traffic.
In other action, council approved a contract with Elizabeth Township to provide fire protection for the township. The city will receive $338,999.20 annually from Elizabeth Township.
City Finance Director Deborah Watson reported that the city has received $641,519.51 in revenue in 2019, and expenses were $571,594.71. "As long as we keep this going, we'll have more revenue than we're spending, and that's always a good thing," said Watson.
Fire Chief Steve Trusty said that a cause of the house fire on Jefferson Street has not been determined, but was probably a wiring problem in the garage. "The fire started in the garage and spread to the house," he said.
Council has also scheduled a special meeting on Monday, March 25 at 7:00 at the Smith Park Shelter House to approve an ordinance to cover architectural services at a price of $38,500 plus reimbursables. The public is invited to attend.