Thomas: City can’t buy building because the building isn’t for sale
In last week’s Elberton Star, a story was published stating the City of Elberton had voted to purchase the property at 6 South Public Square for $42,000 (“Council will purchase building neighboring Sam Elbert Hotel,” Page 1, April 6, 2016 edition).
According to the city, the sale would need to be completed by Monday, April 11.
Rina Thomas, one of two owners of the building located at 6 South Public Square, told the newspaper last week the building is not for sale.
According to Thomas, the city had the opportunity to purchase the property in August 2015 and the following month chose not to purchase the property at that time.
An article published by The Elberton Star on Aug. 5, 2015 stated, “A resolution was read to purchase the property immediately adjoining the hotel property currently owned by Robert A. and Rina S. Thomas.
The resolution called for council to pay $40,000 for the .03 acre property.
Dunn told council members the property would allow for access to that side of the hotel.
Like the resolution on the restoration of the hotel, a motion was made to “table the purchase of the property as well, with no further discussion taking place.”
In September 2015, council members took up the matter again and The Elberton Star reported on their decision at that time.
“The council (passed) on purchasing an adjacent building to the hotel, which would have cost $40,000,” said the report. “The vote on a resolution to purchase the property adjoining the hotel on the east side was rejected 5-0 by the council.”
Thomas told The Star the city had their chance to purchase the building at that time and passed on it.
She also said the couple had not heard a word from the city since the decision not to purchase the property and the building was no longer for sale.
Thomas did say if the property were to be sold, she would prefer to sell it to Bob Ward (Ward’s Pharmacy) rather than the city.
Ward owns the property on the other side of 6 South Public Square.
When contacted about the issue, City Manager Lanier Dunn said, “We did make an offer to purchase the building. The owners have to accept the offer for a sale to take place.”
Dunn said he had been informed the city’s offer had been rejected.
Thomas also told The Elberton Star the city had asked that the business be closed for two or three days while the roofing is installed and that they would also need to place ladders on the building to facilitate painting that side of the hotel.
The painting, according to Thomas, could take as long as a week.
Thomas said both projects would be allowed “for a fee.”