CHEBOYGAN — On Tuesday, Cheboygan City Manager Dan Sabolsky updated the city council on progress that has been made over the last two weeks regarding the city's potential purchase of 220 Water St.
At a meeting earlier this month, it was determined the city would put an offer in on the property — which currently sits between two city-owned parcels — to express interest in potentially purchasing the building and vacant lot.
"I met with the real estate agent today and our attorney. We are going to schedule a meeting with the property owners, to have some further discussion and clarification," said Sabolsky. "Again, a lot of people aren't used to dealing with government. We do move slowly, but in this particular case, I think that may help them understand us a little bit better."
The property the city is expressing interest in purchasing sits between Washington Park to the south and the Water Street parking lot, where the public bathrooms are located. There is a building, which currently houses BKC Insurance and several other businesses, at the corner of Division Street and Water Street, along with a vacant parcel of green space.
Since the topic was first brought up at the Jan. 11 Cheboygan City Council meeting, city representatives have also met with environmental firms. During those meetings, the completion of the phase one and phase two environmental studies on the property in question was discussed, to determine if there are any sort of issues with the property, such as contamination.
Sabolsky also said that at a joint meeting on Jan. 20 between the city council and the Main Street-Downtown Development Authority board there was overwhelming positive support from the DDA on the potential purchase of 220 Water St.
"They were excited. They expressed interest in working with us on that project," said Sabolsky. "What is 'working with us?' We have to define that. So, at the next coming DDA meeting, we'll have some discussion about that at that particular time."
One of the reasons the city is interested in purchasing this property is because it will allow the city to move forward with construction of a boardwalk that could connect Major City Park, Washington Park and Gordon Turner Park, all along the Cheboygan River.
Currently, the city is only making an offer on the property, to figure out options for a potential purchase. The city has not committed to purchasing the property and if the environmental studies, the appraisals or anything else show something city officials do not like, the city does have the option to walk away and not purchase the property.
"We also had some discussion about appraisals," said Sabolsky. "So we can get those lined up. We worked it out with the bank that we can do that appraisal. They would schedule it and get it going early for us."
Once the appraisals on the property have been finished, the city officials will be able to review that, as will the bank and the property owners. That appraisal will be good for around 18 months, which can give that information to all the parties involved if and when the purchase of the property moves forward.
"That will save us from doing two appraisals," said Sabolsky.
Sabolsky said in the last two weeks Doug Keipert, the city's assessor, has been helping the city look at some of the tax issues and other things associated with the property.
"Overall, we're moving forward and hopefully we'll have some more information at the next council meeting," said Sabolsky.
Contact Features Writer Kortny Hahn at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @khahnCDT.
This article originally appeared on Cheboygan Daily Tribune: City officials continuing progress towards potential property purchase