Town of Magnolia Springs looks to purchase new Town Hall, Library property

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 10/14/19

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - The Town of Magnolia Springs council voted in a special meeting on Thur., Oct. 3 to enter into a purchase agreement on property 12395 Magnolia Springs Highway. The property is …

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Town of Magnolia Springs looks to purchase new Town Hall, Library property

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MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - The Town of Magnolia Springs council voted in a special meeting on Thur., Oct. 3 to enter into a purchase agreement on property 12395 Magnolia Springs Highway. The property is 3,800 square feet, and council hopes to make it a new combined Town Hall and Public Library. The purchase price they’ve agreed on is $414,000 and the earnest money they’ve agreed to put down is $10,000 to enter into the agreement. The purchase agreement will include an option to opt out if the property doesn’t appraise for what has been offered.

“I was confronted by a property owner who offered the town a piece of property with 12 lots,” said council member Steve Mobley during the September council, when the subject was first discussed. “I think it’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to this town. It’s 2.96 acres and I feel we’ve been given a great offer on the property, and I think we need to move on it.”

Mayor Bob Holk had concerns about the purchase of the property, stating the town would need to have a building inspection, a check to see if it could be made handicap accessible, a fire inspection, and have a contractor or architect inspect the property to ensure the town’s vision would be workable. Legal Counsel Brad Hicks also advised the town to be sure the purchase agreement gave adequate time for due diligence.

During the special council meeting, it was voted to enter into a purchase agreement allowing 45 days for due diligence, which would end mid-November. The council members would divide into groups to get everything taken care of, including ensuring a home inspection and fire inspection were completed, meeting with a bank to discuss monetary matters and closing costs, completing a survey, and scheduling an inspection with a qualified specialist with Americans with Disability Act to review the building and make recommendations to make it handicap accessible. A motion was passed to permit Hicks or his representative to negotiate and finalize the purchase price and date for the property. The money for the down payment and any improvements to the building will come from the town’s General Fund, and council member Ben Dykema says the money is available to use for this purchase. It will not leave the town struggling or with too little money to make it through the fiscal year, he said.

According to council member Nick Shields, the purchase of the property will actually begin saving the town money over time.

“Right now we’re paying rent on this building and we’re paying rent for our library property,” he said. “We know that the rent on those buildings is going to go up over time, and with this property purchase we may get a mortgage that is equal to or less than what we are paying now, let alone what we’re paying in the future.”

Shields also argued that the new location will give the town space to expand, such as setting up play areas, having a larger town hall to accommodate more people, and allow the possibility to use the green space at the property.

Earlier this year, a meeting was held concerning the schoolyard property across from the current town hall, where it was suggested a new construction could be built. According to Dykema, many people in attendance seemed to want to use that land for a community development, such as a gazebo, dog walk or playground, and not a new town hall. He says he’d like to preserve the schoolyard land to use for a public place, and purchase this new location for a town hall and library.