By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – The City Council approved the sale of the 7.2-acre former City Hall site Aug. 22 for $2.3 million to AP Health.
The motion by Councilwoman Tina Gaworecki, supported by Angelo DeGiulio, approved the purchase agreement for the sale of the property. Mayor William Matakas, Councilwomen Gail McLeod and Gaworecki, and Councilmen DeGiulio and Larry Templin voted in favor of the resolution, with Councilmen Harry Sisko and Kevin Rourke opposed.
In a study session prior to the meeting Matakas said previously the only major point up in the air with the purchaser was the first right of refusal for the remaining four acres. He said City Attorney Joseph Couvreur worked it out for them so that if the council decides to sell the remaining land they must be given 30 days to negotiate a contract with the city to buy the parcel. At the end of 30 days if they don’t have an agreement with the city, then the city is free to list the parcel on the open market.
The Department of Public Works currently uses the back four acres, and another site would have to be found for the department before the land could be sold.
Sisko said the city should look at the variables of relocating the DPW prior to selling the four acres.
Finance Director Bob Cady said city staff are very busy focusing on the logistics of the new city hall.
Couvreur said a site plan for the former city hall site has to be completed and submitted to the Planning Commission.
City Administrator Mark Kibby said the site plan will impact the position of the easements.
Matakas said he thought the existing easements would stay the way they were.
“They are not going to give up to the state highway either of those driveways,” Matakas said. “Those easements are going to be there, because you won’t get them back if you give up one or the other. And you can’t give up the one because part of it is Ford Motor’s.”
Cady said with one owner it will be a lot easier to work on the easements.
Sisko said the site buyer could turn around and sell the property themselves.
Couvreur said a buyer still has to comply with all of the city ordinances, and it is not unusual for someone to buy property, speculate and resell it.
McLeod sought reassurance that any purchaser would have to comply with all city ordinances, to which Cady said owning property and using it are two different things.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected])