Corinth commission approves sale of city building

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By Deborah Lucas Angel

The Corinth City Building is getting a new owner.
During Monday night’s commission meeting, Corinth commissioners voted 2 to 1 to enter in a land contract/lease agreement with the Corinth Water District to buy the building at 215 Thomas Lane.
Commissioners Paige Allen and Donnie Dyer voted in favor of the motion, while Ted Fisk voted against it. Commissioner Jenny Dietz was absent from the meeting.

Mayor Billy Hill was in agreement with selling the building.
“As it is a majority, I will just go on and vote yes as well since I am the one signing the contract,” Hill said.

According to the contract, the water district, of which Hill serves as the chairman, will pay the city $69,000 for the property. When the land contract takes effect, there will be a $15,000 payment, followed by monthly payments of $900 beginning on Dec. 1, 2012 for 60 months.

The sale of the city building and property it sits on is the culmination of budgetary woes that have plagued the small city for the last five years.

Hill and Tara Wright, city clerk, said at one time the city had an annual income from insurance revenues of around $160,000. However, since the advent of GPS mailing addresses and economic downturns, the insurance company revenues have fallen drastically to their current level of $30,000.

The biggest difference in the revenues came from insurance companies ability with GPS addressing to pay only for the addresses within the city limits of Corinth and not for those home outside the city limits, but with a Corinth postal address.

Hill said this had become a problem for most rural cities and towns.
Fisk, in  a letter to the editor published in the Grant County News on Sept. 27, 2012, said he understood the city’s financial position, but questioned whether the sale of the city building and property to the water district was the answer because the water district has operated out of the city building for years and never paid rent or utilities.

 They are already operating from the buildings. They would not have the worry of finding a place to relocate and certainly would be getting a good buy. My point is, if the water was concerned for the well-being of the city and wanted to help, they would pay their way,  Fisk wrote in the letter.

The land contract is a no interest contract.  However, the water district will be paying the utility and insurance for the building after the initial $15,000 payment.  The water district will take title of the property on Jan. 1, 2015 at which time the water district will obtain a mortgage for any remaining amount of the purchase price.  Up to that point, the city has the first option to buy the property.  
Should the city commissioners decide to repurchase, they will repay all funds paid to them including any improvements the water district has made.  

The city will be leasing the property from the water district.  The lease effect date is Nov. 15, 2012.  There is no deposit nor rent to be charged with the exception the city will assist the water board with “…aspects of customer service, including billing, receiving payments, and preparation of reports.