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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Parker council votes to sell former library building for $15K

The Parker City Council last week sold this former library building. The council originally planned to make it into city hall, but repairs proved to be too expensive. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

PARKER – In a special meeting on Thursday, July 20, the Parker City Council approved the sale of the former library building located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Main and Center streets.

The council voted 3-to-1 to sell the property to Aaron Bowman for $15,000. Jody Bloodgood voted against the measure.

The city purchase the building for $5,000 in 2020 with a plan to make the building into city hall.

However, the building needed work, including repairing a water leak in the north wall that is likely coming from the roof, a large crack in the concrete floor of the largest room, and mold growing inside a wall from the roof leak.

The council decided not to proceed with renovating the building after receiving an estimate of more than $20,000 to make the repairs to the building.

City Clerk Carrie Sewell said the $15,000 bid more than covered the money the city has spent on the building.

The lowest bid for the building was $2,000, and the mid-range bid was $7,500. Christina Byerley’s bid was $250 over the highest bid price up to $15,000. She included a list of possible uses of the building.

However, Councilman Jason Webber deemed that Byerley’s bid was more like a bid at an auction rather than a sealed bid. He made the motion to accept Bowman’s bid. Bowman is Webber’s brother-in-law.

The council also accepted a bid from Caleb Spencer of nearly $6,900 to create an access from Main Street to the east side of the Parker Library. The job will include pouring a sloping 20-by-20-foot pad with a a 12-inch culvert underneath it to allow drainage.

Sewell said Spencer was also interested in doing the sidewalk replacement on the south side of Main Street but had not yet submitted a bid. The council approved his bid on a 3-1 vote with Bloodgood voting against the project.

The council unanimously approved appointing T.C. Balthazor, Richard Sewell, Tim Griffin, Mike Page and Christina Byerley to the city’s revived planning and zoning board. Page and Byerley are not city residents.

The inclusion of out-of-town residents to the board is a throwback to more than 20 years ago when several cities in the county were looking at controlling land use up to three miles outside of city limits. However, none of the cities in the county ever completed that process.

Last year, the council voted to make the council itself the planning and zoning board but reversed that decision earlier this year.

The council also approved the purchase of a mobile air card for use with the computer in the city’s police vehicle. The cost is about $200 to purchase the card from Verizon and about $40 per month to use it.

Police Chief Craig Haley also notified the council he was looking at purchasing body cameras for the two-person department. It currently has some used cameras. The cost is expected to be about $3,500 each.

The council also recessed into an executive session for 10 minutes to consult with City Attorney Geri Hartley via telephone.

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