by Dennis Dalman
The City of St. Joseph will finally have an extra storage building for its public-works department.
At its Oct. 5 city council meeting, it was announced that there is a buyer’s agreement for a building that is adjacent just north of the current public-works facility on property north of the Coborn’s grocery store.
The purchase price is about $695,000. That may sound like a lot of money, but in previous efforts to buy land and/or an extra public-works facility, the price ranges were well in excess of $2 million. For years, city council and city staff knew there was an urgently growing need for an extra facility because as the city grew so did the public-works department and its vast array of equipment: trucks, plows and more.
“We got lucky,” said St. Joseph Mayor Rick Schultz in an Oct. 10 interview with the Newsleader. “Other places we checked were just too hugely expensive. We had long been working to expand and consolidate all the public-works department storage. The current building and the new building being adjacent and in one central location is a big plus,” Schultz noted.
Currently, the building to be purchased is being leased to a woodworking business. Schultz said that during refurbishing work on the building, the city will allow the business to remain there during a transition period.
The city will finalize the purchase by Dec. 31 of this year, Schultz noted. The cost of the building, Schultz said, will be worked into the city’s upcoming bonding bill.