SALINEVILLE - At Monday's meeting of the Salineville village council, discussion continued of what should be done with the Kaiser building at 2 Main St. The 5,980 square foot building has been mostly empty since it was donated to the village by Huntington Bank in 2010.
According to council president Rick Beadle, a previous village administration used exercise equipment left behind in the building's lower levels to run a gym for a while but discontinued doing so due to liability concerns. After that, the building also briefly housed an internet gaming parlor.
The council has previously considered selling or leasing the property but has not yet been able to decide upon a clear course of action. "As of right now we are where we started." said Beadle regarding the progress of the situation.
Councilmen Zeb Locklear advised the council he had contacted the Columbiana County Port Authority as well as Shale Play, a shale and gas magazine, to advertise to gas and oil companies who may be interested in leasing office space in the area.
" If we can legally lease it, then we should," Beadle said, explaining the village needs all the revenue it can get.
The council agreed that leasing would be the best option and consulted village solicitor Andy Beech on how to go about it. Beech explained that the council should draft a lease with specific details of what is to be leased before advertising it to the public. "He (Beech) feels we have to bid it out, so we (the council) should follow his professional opinion" said council president Rick Beadle.
The village's responsibilities in the event the building was leased were also brought up. "You're going to have to take care of hallways, parking lots, elevators, stairwells; you'll be going into the landlord business," advised Beech, warning that leasing could be more complicated than it appears. In light of this information, the council agreed a manager should be hired to handle those aspects if leasing the building is pursued.
Selling the Kaiser building is not out of the question either according to Rick Beadle: "If we could get fair market value we would consider selling it."
In other Salineville village council news: An interview conducted with Salineville Board of Public Affairs member Bridget Roberts since Monday's village council meeting yielded several clarifications and corrections regarding an article which ran in the Dec. 19 paper titled "EPA monitoring Salineville water treatment facility."
Firstly, Roberts wished to clearly establish that the facility refereed to in the article as the "water treatment facility" is the waste water treatment facility. Secondly, the article stated that the village had been trying to find an operator since June. Roberts stated that although the previous true operator of the facility stopped working for the village in June of this year, the facility has only been without an operator for three weeks. The village has been using a number of village employees to fill in until another operator can be hired.
Regarding the prospective new operator for the waste water treatment facility, Roberts wished to clarify that although the village was in negotiations with the individual regarding pay, she would not characterize the negotiations as having reached an "impasse." "It is more than the previous operator but the council voted to offer the individual the position for the requested rate." said Roberts on Thursday. Roberts contended the article also incorrectly reported the council as calling the prospective operator's requested rate "unreasonable" when in fact it had been called "reasonable."