City to offer Main Street property for $1


CUTLINE: The Fayette City Council will take bids of at least $1 in its intent to sell this building at 215 South Main, part of the downtown business district. Stipulations include that the new owners must make a minimum of $20,000 in improvements to the facade and interior, keeping with the downtown's recent facade improvements. The building had most recently been a dwelling but had previously been the Sugar Bowl restaurant. (Janell Bradley photo)


City to offer Main Street property for $1


Janell Bradley
Contributing Writer



Property purchased earlier by the City of Fayette will now be offered to the public at a minimum cost of $1.

The Fayette City Council will hold a required public hearing on the topic at its next meeting Monday, Sept. 16, which would then allow the City to proceed with advertising for the sale of 215 South Main.

Once home to the Sugar Bowl cafe, the structure had most recently been a dwelling. Located within the business district, the City purchased the building at an approximate cost of $22,000. Bids were sought to have asbestos removed so the structure could be demolished. That cost, however, was higher than expected. Now the City hopes to sell the building for at least $1, but has placed stipulations on the purchase. 

The council asks that the successful candidate spend at least $20,000 rehabbing the facade and interior to match efforts made through the downtown facade program. The work would need to be completed within six or nine months to one year of signing an agreement with the City, and a new business would need to be located in the building.

In other business during its Tuesday, Sept. 3 meeting, the council agreed to grant a waiver of no more than $6,000 on the remaining $14,000 assessed to Jim Miller's property after it was improved with new windows and roof in cooperation with Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation.

Ronald and Sandra Thompson asked the City to forgive all or some of the remaining assessment. Sandra is Jim Miller’s daughter and hopes to buy the home at fair market value because her father has moved to a nursing home. She said the extensive cleanup of the property, adjacent to the city recreation trail, could cost $5,500 or more.

The council was unanimous in its decision to allow the reduction on the remainder of the assessment.

"I think it's worth it to the City to subsidize (the project) to see it cleaned up," said Councilmember Doug McReynolds, participating in Tuesday's (Sept. 3) meeting via teleconference.

In further business, the council approved the plans and specifications for improvements at the city wastewater treatment plant. Bid opening will be Sept. 11 at 10 a.m.

This phase of the wastewater treatment plant project is to last about 120 days and involves the equipment at Madison and Jones streets.

Louise Scott has resigned as Fayette’s representative on the Fayette County Emergency Management Board. The board requires that business related to the budget be voted on by an elected official.  She said most of the other towns are represented by a councilmember or mayor. The council took no action to name a replacement.

The brick exterior of the police station and the faux brick on the ambulance garage have been painted in hues that match the new facade.

"I’ve had so many compliments on the new look of City Hall that I’ve lost count," said City Administrator Christie Dennis. Mayor Bill Dohrmann echoed that statement, adding that he's received favorable comments about other facets of recent city improvements, as well.

In unrelated discussion, the council learned from Police Chief Brad Gardner that the city will have a reserve officer at home UIU games, with the university reimbursing the City for that cost.

The council was updated on efforts to assess Bob Manderfield $400 (at a rate of $100 per day) past the court's ruling that his property had been deemed a nuisance and that the home on the site wasn't taken down until four days later. Attorney David Hanson reported that the court is unaware of any authority to award attorney's fees in the action. 

A building permit for a 1,084-square-ft. home has been approved for the site, and work has begun to construct the new home.

In other business, the council:

• Reappointed Steve Post to the Board of Adjustment. His new 5-year term will expire May 15, 2017.

• Made no appointment to the Board of Adjustment to replace Rob Pennebaker, as the council believes it's intended appointee doesn't meet gender guidelines.

• Noted that the Fayette County Tourism Council's Mystery Tour is Sunday, Sept. 29.

The next meeting of the council will be Monday, Sept. 16.


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