Council tables talks on former school purchase


ST. PARIS – Council agreed to table discussions about purchasing the former Graham junior/senior high school building during the Oct. 5 meeting.

As previously reported in the Daily Citizen, Graham Local Schools’ board began the process of selling the property, 370 E. Main St., to the village in August after the village offered the school district $15,000 for the property and all of its buildings on the four acres of land.

Village Administrator Joe Sampson informed council Monday that the district sent a purchase agreement that contains the terms of a contract. He also provided council with an appraisal that was completed by an independent company. Council has until January to sign the contract.

“They are asking that we sign this agreement according to these terms and then we would own the building depending on what council chooses to do,” Sampson said.

Council member Niven Jester asked what council plans to do if they purchase the building and what costs they would incur if they choose to tear the building down.

“I’d rather make a motion to table this, give us the opportunity to research this,” Jester said.

Council member Larry Watkins said purchasing the property would help emergency response to the ball diamond and could provide better parking in that area. He added the building is unsafe.

After some discussion, council voted to table taking any action on a purchase to conduct more research.

Previously, Graham District Operations and Services Supervisor Don Burley said the village owns property around the site.

Council approves loans in vehicle purchases

During the Sept. 21 meeting, Sampson informed council about issues the village’s street truck was having and a small pick-up truck used by the water and sewer departments was also requiring a lot of maintenance. After discussing their options, council approved purchasing a new truck with a snow plow through a local bank and the purchase of a truck for the water and sewer department.

Sampson followed up on this action by presenting different loan options for the village to decide between.

Council approved going with a $65,000 loan for the street truck with semi annual payments through the The First Central National Bank of St. Paris and a $38,000 loan for the water and sewer truck with the same bank on 60 monthly payments.

Council member Jana Crawford abstained from voting on both measures.

Council moves on from trash survey

Council decided to let go of the results from a trash pickup questionnaire after multiple residents in attendance expressed disagreement.

Earlier this year, a questionnaire was sent out to village residents as a way for council to see if they could incorporate recycling into the village. The North Central Ohio Solid Waste District sent the questionnaires out on behalf of the village.

After receiving the results from the district, Crawford said council got a second opinion from Urbana University which stated residents were in favor of a single company curbside trash and recyclable collection if the monthly cost was less than what they currently paid.

She suggested to send out a request for bids.

Council member Terry Ervin noted only about 38 percent of residents replied to the questionnaire.

As the discussion continued, citizens questioned why the issue was being brought up when residents previously expressed they were not in favor of having these services.

When put to a vote, council motioned and approved moving on from the questionnaire.

By Nick Walton

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Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

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