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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Property purchase: City buys open lot next to city hall

  • With zero fanfare the city of Hannibal purchased the empty lot just east of city hall earlier this month for roughly half of what it was offered the property for in August 2013.
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  • With zero fanfare the city of Hannibal purchased the empty lot just east of city hall earlier this month for roughly half of what it was offered the property for in August 2013.
    According to City Clerk Angel Vance, the matter was a point of discussion during the Council’s April 1 closed session. The Council approved paying $27,704.46 for the lot where the former Maryland Hotel (Conklin Hotel) stood until last summer. The closing on the transaction reportedly occurred last week.
    Bricker Excavating/Demolition purchased the property from Jim and Sheryl Love for an undisclosed price in November 2012. Following a series of delays, demolition of the building began in March 2013.
    In August of last year the Bricker company offered to sell the property to the city for $56,000. The city countered with an offer of $20,000, which was rejected.
    Negotiations ceased until recently when Jeff Bricker reportedly contacted city hall and offered to sell the lot for just under $28,000.
    Site work was underway on Wednesday.
    “We put seed and straw down to restore the site back to the extent we would ask anybody else to restore a site,” said Mark Rees, director of public works for the city.
    The lot’s future has already been discussed, according to Rees.
    “Whenever the budget allows the long-range plan now is to put a nice parking lot back there for the public,” he said. “There are some conceptual sketches that show some landscaping or planting and a nice asphalt parking lot, curb and gutter … all that good stuff.”
    Don’t look for the parking lot to appear anytime soon.
    “The city is in a financial belt-tightening period and we wouldn’t even want to invest in the materials at this point, that’s why it was covered in black dirt, seeded and strawed. We’ll mow it until such time that it becomes economically feasible to take on that challenge,” said Rees.
    Rees applauded the Council’s decision to buy the lot.
    “I think it’s the best use possible for an adjacent property. I was glad the owner of the property and city finally came to terms. It’s better a property has a use than just sitting there waiting for somebody to come along,” he said.
    With the old hotel gone, work was taking place Thursday on the eastern side of city hall.
    “For years in the collector’s office there are at least three windows that were covered, and we don’t know how long they’ve been covered,” said Vance. “What they (Street Department personnel) are working on now is actually removing the plywood and replacing with windows. It will make it a little more aesthetically appealing to the eye.”
    Page 2 of 2 - City Collector Phyllis Nelson believes the addition of windows will be a positive step.
    “In the summertime we’ll get a little more heat in there, but by noon the sun will be above that and won’t be shining in,” she said. “I think it will be a whole lot better, and with minimal cost.”
    More work to the eastern side of city hall could occur in the future.
    “The building needs a spray-down. It’s dirty. It’s been masked for many, many years. I think they’re looking at power washing it and giving it a little more eye appeal,” said Vance.

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