Village discusses selling municipal property


By Paule Simone Brown

Contributing writer

ST. PARIS – The St. Paris Village Council met Monday, March 20 at a regularly-scheduled meeting in the municipal building.

Mayor Brenda Cook, Councilman Randy Smith, Councilwoman Susan Prince, Councilman Lynn Miller, Councilman Sam Ronicker, Councilman Joe Curran, Councilman Terry Ervin, Village Administrator Spencer Mitchell, Fiscal Officer Marc McGuire and Chief of Police Eric Smith were present.

Pastor Tom Walters from Myrtle Tree Baptist Church gave the invocation prayer after the pledge of allegiance.

After the unanimous approval of all meeting minutes, Mayor Brenda Cook shared some village notes and announcements.

In her notes she announced, “I and Councilor Prince received from Village Solicitor Daniel Bey copies of Ohio meeting laws and the Sunshine Law. Anyone interested in a copy can pick one up at my office.”

Ohio’s Sunshine Laws give residents access to government meetings and records.

In her announcement, she said, “The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus is coming to St. Paris on May 22.”

“A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, March 30 at noon at the car wash in St. Paris and Truitt Thomas is the new owner of the business,” she added.

She stated, “Little Bird Café has relocated to 102 S. Springfield Street in St. Paris and the grand opening is Friday, March 24 at 8 a.m.”

She said, “The 16th Annual Old Bag Sale is Sunday, March 26 at 2 p.m. at the Evans Park Building in St. Paris. All the proceeds go to the Champaign County Cancer Association.”

She also stated, “The St. Paris Library is having a Masquerade Murder Mystery Theatre on Friday, May 5 at 6 p.m. at the library. The public can enjoy dancing, hors d’oeuvres and mocktails while sinister deeds happen throughout the library.” She said the public should contact the library for tickets and all proceeds benefit the Friends of the Library.

She announced all are invited to attend an orientation for new members that is set for Tuesday, April 4 at Harmon Park by the St. Paris Lions Club.

Smith announced Officer Kerrie Kimpel is returning to the St. Paris Police Department as a temporary full-time employee.

Mitchell announced, “In order to enforce the 35-mph speed limit through town, the village will place 2 street radar signs purchased using street funding on route 36.”

He also reported that Ranger Earthworks, LLC, was the only bid he received for the 2023 street paving projects on S. High St., Feathers Drive and Park Ave. The council voted in 6-0 in favor of accepting their bid.

In old business, Rich Ebert, director of the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP), and Beth McCain, office manager of CEP, attended the meeting to give an update on the potential sale of the municipal property.

After the council declined local businessman Jeff Jordan’s offer at the March 6 meeting to purchase the municipal building and the parking lots around the building for $275,000, the sale was discussed again at the meeting by McCain.

Next, Jordan expressed his interest again in buying the village administration building, and parking lot excluding the police department building. According to Jordan, he plans to offer the community a drive-through coffee shop, an inside restaurant and live music by buying the property. After about 15 minutes of discussion about his plans and the size of the parking lot, the council voted to go into an executive session to discuss the sale of the property. When the executive session ended, the council then requested that CEP continue discussions with Jordan about the purchase of the municipal property.

There was discussion in public comments about the need to plan the location of the St. Paris food pantry if the property was purchased. The mayor and the council agreed that if there was a need for relocation of the pantry it would be a priority in the community.

The meeting adjourned and the next Village of St. Paris Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 3 at 7 p.m.

Other Village of St. Paris meetings:

Park and Trees Committee – Tuesday, April 4 at 10 a.m. at 370 E. Main St.; Planning Commission – Thursday, May 4 at 7 p.m. in the St. Paris Municipal Building; JSP Joint District Fireboard – A work session on Monday, March 27 at 7 p.m. and a regular meeting Tuesday, April 11 at 7 p.m. at the Firehouse.

Reach the writer at [email protected]

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