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Blue Building on back burner
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McMinnville officials held off on a measure to consider the Blue Building surplus property and sell it at auction to the highest bidder. 
Alderman Jimmy Haley asked board members to postpone the resolution to declare the Blue Building surplus in an effort to give McMinnville Heritage Preservation a chance to prepare.
“I request that we pull it from the agenda,” Haley said, during the board meeting. “I would like to give George Burke and Neil Schultz time to prepare for the inevitable auction of the Blue Building.”
Haley says he would like to give McMinnville Heritage Preservation, of which Burke represents and Schultz is a member, a chance to make changes to its original proposal.
Earlier in the year, the organization wanted an agreement with the city to give it an “exclusive” right to market the property, which also included an option to buy, as well as provisions that allow the organization to place a lien on the property for repayment of improvements to the property once it is sold.
City attorney Tim Pirtle reviewed that agreement and informed the board it could not legally enter into the contract as written. He recommend the city to enter into a “non-exclusive” marketing agreement.
“The board is empowered to enter into a non-exclusive marketing agreement with the preservation group, which would permit marketing and identifying parties interested in purchasing and leasing the property,” said Pirtle. “The board cannot delegate its legal right and responsibility for disposition of an asset owned by the taxpayers to a third party.”
An agreement would have to be without an option to buy and without a lien for improvements.
“The preservation group might also be authorized to submit any application for expenditures on the repair, maintenance or marketing of the property to the board for its consideration and approval in conformity with applicable law,” said Pirtle.
Officials moved to consider the property surplus last month after preservation group member Rachel Killebrew informed the board she has been in contact with at least two companies that are interested in the property, but neither are intrigued with government.
Killebrew says the push for a second chance at an agreement between the organization and the city is because those companies would not be interested in buying the property at auction.
“They probably will not be interested in buying it at auction,” said Killebrew. “All we are trying to do is to help the city find a suitable buyer for the property. We would like a chance to find someone that would be interested in renovation of the building, not in demolishing it.”
The measure was withdrawn. No date was set for the property to be back under consideration.