City starts off expecting to lose even more on building

Staff writer

The former Arlie’s building will be listed on state websites with an asking price $36,500 below the lease-purchase price the city agreed to six weeks ago.

The asking price will be $198,500. Because the websites, Location One and LoopNet, are through the Kansas Department of Commerce there will be no fees. The city is paying principal and interest on the $235,000 agreement at a clip of $1,339 a month over 20 years.

“I would not expect to sell it above asking,” Economic Development Director Roger Holter said.

The building and land combination is appraised by the county at $255,000.

Economic Development Director Roger Holter said the listing, just south of $200,000, would allow searchers looking for properties in the $150,000 range to see the Marion listing.

“With the current economic situation, we won’t have many lookers,” Holter said.

City Administrator Doug Kjellin has been handling inquiries about the property. He said there has been only one serious offer, for an undisclosed price.

“In terms of a serious business, I can only put my hat on one,” he said. “Two months ago, $200,000 was acceptable. This is where we are.”

Holter also addressed the possibility of using a commercial real estate agent. If the city were to sell the property through the website listing, a commercial agent would not get a commission. Currently the city is not using a real estate agent for the property.

“They want too much,” Holter said. “They want 6 percent, almost 7.”

The council agreed to keep lease purchase and traditional lease options available, with rent at about $2,350 a month. Kjellin said the contract would include a clause that a tenant would not be able to deny a potential sale.

“I’d be in favor of getting rid of it permanently,” Mayor Mary Olson said.

Holter has discussed renting half the building to a gymnastics coach.

In other business:

  • Fireworks may be discharged in the city from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 1 and 2 and 9 a.m. to midnight July 3 and 4. Fireworks are not permitted on July 5.
  • Police Chief Tyler Mermis provided forms to City Attorney Susan Robson to allow public use the police gun range. Mermis is considering a $100 annual fee. Applicants also would need to pass a background check. “The fee level, makes it harder to shoot,” Robson said.
  • The council approved the contract for the sale of lot 7, block 1 in the industrial park to Prairie Land partners for $4,500.
  • The council approved a contract with the Historic Elgin Hotel for parking on city owned property south of the hotel. The hotel will have the right to build a car cover if they obtain permits and the structure meets building codes. The rental fee for parking is $50 a year.
  • The city will send a letter to the Union Pacific Railroad asking for the crossing on Grant Road, leading into Jex Addition, to be reopened.
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