Council enters real estate agreement

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


After previously tabling an issue regarding the sale of a house owned by the city, the Washington City Council entered a ?win-win-win? agreement with a property owner thanks to the efforts of council member Steve Gault.

Gault, who had requested the issue be tabled after the city hadn?t received any bids on moving the house from 208 E. Jefferson St., has brokered a deal. Gault investigated some options and worked on a deal to obtain the property at 202 E. Jefferson in exchange for moving the house from 208 E. Jefferson to the city-owned lot at 415 W. Madison St. and preparing it for occupancy by the current owner of 202 E. Jefferson.

?With applause to Steve for negotiating the offer that is a triple win for the vacant lot, for the vacant lot on the corner and for the city?s fire station project ? yeah, a triple win, I move to approve this offer to buy real estate,? council member Jaron Rosien said.

Prior to considering the deal, the council untabled the bidding of the house-moving and disposed of the item by agreeing not to take further action.

City administrator Brent Hinson explained the city would be moving the house, installing the foundation, putting the house on the foundation and connecting utilities. He said an allowance is also included for whatever the new owner wished to do with the house, including a capped $18,000 for a new garage or other items.

Gault said the new owner would certainly build a garage. The closing date is slated for April 14, 2018, but the city expects to take possession of 202 E. Jefferson sooner.

Mayor Sandra Johnson suggested that city employees walk through the house with a video camera prior to the house being moved to document the condition of the walls. She said she didn?t want the city to assume responsibility for something that may happen after the move is completed.

Hinson said the city would have a competative quote process for the moving of the residence. He said the council could expect to see the quotes in about a month.