The Polo City Council unanimously approved a $229,000 offer on a building that could become its new city hall and police department at a special meeting on Friday, Oct. 9.
The building, located at 610 S. Division Ave. in Polo is the former site of the CedarStone banquet hall, which was operated by White Pines Resort. That business declared bankruptcy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were contacted by the bank about a new property as a city hall,” Polo Mayor Doug Knapp said. “I talked with the aldermen. The asking price was $229,000. We were going to try for $200,000. They were showing it and we thought maybe we should offer the full asking price. The plan is to move city hall and the police station over there. The main hall could be used for civic functions. We could open it up to weddings.”
The council discussed paying for the new property equally out of its four funds: general, water, sewer and sanitation. That method would see $57,250 coming out of each fund. The full price could also be taken out of the general fund.
The city plans to do around $50,000 in renovations to make the new building suitable for city operations. Engineering work would also have to be put out to bid and done.
The city’s current city hall is located at 115 S. Franklin Ave. downtown. Alderman Randy Schoon voiced concerns about the old building.
“I can’t imagine anyone would want to buy city hall,” Schoon said. “We’d have to tear it down. So $229,000 plus $50,000 for renovations and money for demolition we’d have $350,000 in this project. By moving this out, we’re taking this out of downtown and we’re hurting enough down here. But I still think it’s the best opportunity so far.”
City Attorney Tom Suits said there could be delays in the purchase process due to financial difficulties of the previous owner.
If there are no delays, the city’s contract would see it take ownership on Oct. 29.