Markle council rejects library offer

The Markle Town Council said "no thanks" at its meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 20, to an offer from the Huntington City-Township Public Library Board to purchase the current library building in Markle from the town for $100,000.

The proposal was the subject of much discussion at the council's special session held May 7 and again at its Oct. 16 regular meeting.

During the Nov. 20 meeting, the council unanimously voted to turn down the library board's offer.

"I don't think the sale of the current library building is the town of Markle's best option right now," said Town Council President Jeff Humbarger.

The town is looking to move its offices, currently located in a former church education building, to quarters that are more handicap accessible.

The cost of renovating the current building to meet ADA guidelines would cost more money than the structure is worth, council members say. Town officials believe the current library space in downtown Markle, which is owned by the town, would meet those needs.

After the council heard the library board might be interested in building a new building in Markle, the two groups traded offers and counteroffers on the library's possible purchase of the current town hall building

The town first proposed that the library board purchase the town hall building for $10,000 plus the cost of demolishing the structure.

The library board countered with an offer to purchase the currently-leased library building, located at 197 E. Morse St. However, at the Oct. 16 meeting Humbarger said the town cannot construct a new town hall for the $100,000 price offered by the library board.

"I would like to pursue other options, one being the offer that was made on the old town hall site," said Council Vice-President Mark Hamilton.

The council favorably voted on another proposal at its October meeting to give the current town hall lot to the library board and pay for half the cost of the building's demolition. However, the board has yet to give an official response to that offer.

Humbarger directed Clerk-Treasurer Shelley Monticue to send a letter to the library board reiterating the offer.
In other business, the council:

• Unanimously adopted the 2014 salary ordinance, which includes a 2 percent raise for municipal employees.

• Unanimously approved a County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) resolution to adopt a Capital Improvement Plan through 2022 for construction of a water tower in the Markle Industrial Park, which includes a 10-year financing term.

• Unanimously approved to pay 10 percent per year of the town's CEDIT revenue to Wells County Economic Development for the next three years.

• Tabled a proposal to pay Keystone $275 per year for off-site electronic storage of the town's accounting documents in the event of disaster.

• Tabled a bid from American/Baxter Pest Professionals for extermination services.