ST. JOSEPH — Since 1881, a building in the 200 block of East Lincoln Street in St. Joseph that was used for years by Boy Scouts has belonged to the village. That could soon change.
The village council is auctioning off the building which originally housed the “village jail” and once housed the town hall.
Bids for the 947-square-foot building the Village plans to use as retail/office space will open Sept. 7. The board could discuss the offers at its September 13 meeting.
The property, which sits across from the current village hall, is zoned downtown commercial.
Scoutmaster Jeremy Yohnka said Scouts from Troop 40 had used the building since the 1930s. He said the village offered an alternative meeting place.
“We also have another place to meet,” he said.
Village administrator Joseph Hackney said the decision to sell “has nothing to do with how the village values the Boy Scouts”.
“We think it’s a wonderful organization in our community,” he said.
Part of the equation is that the council wants to be “a little fairer” to all members of the community because it does not offer free meeting space to other clubs or organizations in the community. town.
He said the decision to sell was more of a “de-risking” decision than anything else.
“In terms of building maintenance, we’re a very inactive owner,” Hackney said. “We have done minimal maintenance on the building for years and years. It gets to the point where it needs an owner who invests in it to be usable. »
The council has already discussed the sale of the building. In 2011 he offered to sell it but changed his mind due to public outcry.
At that time, it was costing the village $3,000 a year in utilities – a figure that has likely increased significantly since then.
While Hackney said the village has done minimal maintenance on the building in recent years, it has spent $80,000 on the building over the past decade.
Yohnka said a large amount of memorabilia, equipment and sundries have been collected over the years.
An Own a Piece of Scout Hall sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on August 20 in the hall. Equipment, furniture and other items will be for sale.