Wayland considers selling pantry house

Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

A rental agreement for $1 between the City of Wayland and the Wayland Area Christian Neighbors Food Pantry is coming up for renewal and city council members will be considering options to sell the property or keep it for city land use.

The food pantry would like the option to purchase the property, said city manager Mike Selden at the Dec. 1 city council meeting.

Located behind the police and fire department, the property at 122 Church St. was purchased by the city in 2003 for $89,900. Assessed at $50,000 to $60,000 cash value, it is not on the tax rolls and would not go back on the tax rolls if purchased by the food pantry because of its nonprofit status, Selden said.

Council member Lisa Banas asked if the city foresaw any land use for city needs or if it could be taken out of the city’s footprint.

“We could add a few more parking spaces,” Selden said. “The question is if we use it down the line would it be beneficial to keep?”

Council member Tracy Bivins said, “I think paying $89,000 to demolish it is foolish and the food pantry has done a lot for the community and surrounding area.”

While the property was originally purchased for future expansion of the police and fire departments, with talks of a possible police and fire move, council member Ron Kobish said he was with Bivins.

“They’ve done a lot of great things with what they do and we shouldn’t make a profit if we do sell,” Kobish said.

However, Bivins didn’t agree with selling it for anything less than the market price.

Selden said the city would not get the $89,900 they spent on the property and the building is in need of a lot of work with recent roof repairs and issues with the water heating system.

“They don’t want to put money into our building and their agreement is to do the upkeep,” Selden said. “If we decide to sell, they would like to have an interest or have the first right of refusal if we don’t sell it at this time.”

Mayor pro tem Jennifer Antel said the city doesn’t need it anymore and shouldn’t be a landlord.

For full story, pick up a copy of the Dec. 4 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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