The Blue Building is officially declared surplus property by the city.
The city Building and Grounds Committee held a quick special meeting Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. to hold the second and final reading of the ordinance declaring the property surplus.
Declaring the property surplus is the first step in selling it, but city officials do not have to. Now that it has been declared surplus, officials will have to determine how to best dispose of the property.
By law, the city has to offer a competitive bidding process when liquidating the property either by an auction or by accepting sealed bids. The only exception to that law is donating the land to a nonprofit organization.
Although there is no public news on what is going to happen to the Blue Building, Steve Harvey has previously inquired if nonprofits are bound to the same rules in regard to purchasing the Blue Building. Rachel Kirby also asked during a meeting on July 13 whether the city could decide to keep the surplus properties after they are declared surplus and city attorney Tim Pirtle said, “Of course. Declaring properties surplus doesn’t mean you have to sell them.”
Even though the Blue Building is officially deemed surplus, its future is still up in the air.
The Blue Building has remained vacant since 2009 and remained a hot discussion topic ever since.
The building used to serve as City Hall and headquarters for the Police Department. In 2012, voters were asked in a citywide referendum if they were willing to spend up to $6 million to renovate the Blue Building. There were 60.4% who voted no, and 39.6% who voted yes.
In 2013, the city paid $238,000 to have the Blue Building gym and auditorium demolished. Sheet metal was placed over the large opening left by demolition.
Another topic of the special meeting was the first approval for the transfer of 6.17 acres on Sunset Point Road to Homeless of McMinnville Effort.
HOME is hoping to use this donated land to create Prosperity Point. The voting is just a legal formality with city officials already voicing their desire to make this land donation. The ordinance vote is required to deem the land surplus, and ordinances require two meetings of the board. The second meeting will be the regularly scheduled meeting Aug. 10 at 7 p.m.