On Monday the Spencer City Council approved a resolution for the sale and transfer of the Freeman Building.
The Spencer Police Department currently uses the building to store vehicles and other police property, but the building will be empty when the department moves either at the end of this year or the beginning of 2014. The department will move into the current Spencer Municipal Utilities property.
Once the police department moves, the city will "have no further municipal use for the Freeman Building," according to the resolution language. "The Council has determined that the Freeman Building should be sold and transferred to private ownership."
There are interested citizens already, though. Mainly, Goal Kick and the Hen House, who showed their interest in the building earlier this month. Goal Kick, if selected, would turn the Freeman Building into another store front and area to run its t-shirt printing out of.
According to the city, Section 364.7 of the Code of Iowa "requires that when a city sells real property, to set forth its proposal in a resolution, set a hearing on the proposal, publish notice of the proposal and of the date, time and place of the hearing, conduct the hearing and then make a final determination."
The date for the public hearing is Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m in the Council Chambers of Spencer City Hall.
The City of Spencer states that the buyer shall assume and pay all real estate taxes levied after the transfer date. The buyer can move into the east end of the building immediately, which is 1500 square feet, before or on March 1. The citizen who buys the building must install a new roof and restore the exterior walls to a condition that is acceptable to the city. And of course, the buyer accepts the building "as is."
Those who are interested in the building have up until 4 p.m. to submit a written proposal for the "purchase and occupancy" of the building. A proposal should include what the building will be used for, number of employment opportunities, proposals of repairs to the roof and exterior, and monetary considerations, if any.
City Council has the right to reject any proposal and select the proposal that "is in the best interests of the City."
There is still concern about parking in the downtown area. A group of concerned citizens met with City Manager Bod Fagen to discuss what they thought was going to happen to the Freeman Building, which was to be torn down for parking. According to Fagen, that agreement was made roughly 30-40 years ago, and now the group would rather see the space go to a local business instead of being torn down.
However, there is talk of turning the gravel lot north of the Freeman Building into a paved parking lot.