Council to reconsider former bank building purchase
The Merrill Common Council will consider a resolution Wednesday to rescind the city’s purchase of the former Lincoln Community Bank building at 401 W. Main St. The council voted unanimously on July 12 to approve the purchase of the building and adjacent parking lots from RD Properties of Wisconsin, LLC, for a maximum of $140,000. Alderman Pete Lokemoen is bringing the resolution to the Common Council.
At the July 12 meeting, Lokemoen argued that the city should acquire an option to purchase the property, rather than buy it right away.
The building belonged to St. Vincent de Paul until January 2016, when they sold it to for $25,000. RD Properties then purchased it from Romans 12 Enterprises LLC for $70,000 in June before offering it to the city as a clean lot for $140,000. RD Properties would demolish the building as part of the sale.
Because the property was owned by St. Vincent de Paul, a tax exempt entity, there is not a current assessed value on the property.
The purchase is to be funded through a transfer of money from TID #3 (Pine Ridge area) to TID #8 (west side). Once a TID is created, property taxes paid on new development in the area go into a fund that is available for infrastructure improvements in that area. In the case of TIDs that are deemed to be “blighted,” such as TID #8, money can be transferred from better-performing TIDs, such as TID #3.
In other business Wednesday, the Common Council will consider purchase of the lot at 911 E. Main St. from Merrill Federal Savings & Loan for $3,000. The Redevelopment Authority is recommending approval. At the June 14 Council meeting, City Attorney Tom Hayden had requested that consideration of this item be delayed. The city has already acquired the adjacent lot at 913 E. Main St. from Lincoln Community Bank for $10,000. Both lots together would be developed into a downtown “pocket park.”
The Council also will consider an ordinance to increase the city’s water rate fees by 3 percent.
The Common Council meeting is set to begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the council chambers of Merrill City Hall.