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Jefferson City Council considers selling downtown building to renter

POSTED: April 20, 2009 11:14 p.m.

To sell or not to sell is a question the Jefferson City Council is considering when it comes to a city-owned building.

The city currently leases a building at 55 College Ave. to Direct Supply Co. Inc.

Company owners, who have leased the building for the past year, currently pay around $10,000 in rent annually to the city. The company’s lease expires in December and at the close of 2008, the company offered to purchase the building for $75,000.

City Council members Bosie Griffith and Roy Plott favor continuing to lease the building, while Jefferson Mayor Jim Joiner favors selling.

During the council’s regular work session at the Jefferson Civic Center on Kissam Street, council discussed the city’s options concerning the structure.

If the city chooses not to sell the building, a number of repairs would have to be made to the building including repairing the roof and masonry.

“We are gonna spend $60,000 to restore the building, but we have an offer on the table for $75,000,” said Joiner.

Both Plott and Griffith favor keeping the building as a source of revenue for the city.

“At the current rent rate, it would take the city six to seven years to recover the costs of the restoration,” said John Ward, city manager.

If the city chooses not to sell the building, a funding source for the restoration project would have to be decided upon. The council potentially could have to find another source of revenue for the Crawford W. Long Museum if the current tenant chooses not to renew the lease. That money is counted on as a revenue source for the museum.

During the meeting, the council also received an update on current Local Option Sales Tax collections.

According to Amy Vaughan, city finance director, the latest LOST funds that the city has collected are from January. That total was only $56,991, the second-lowest monthly collection total the city has seen in two years.

The City Council didn’t take any action during Monday’s work session, but they are expected to vote on agenda items during its meeting this Monday.



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