City Declares Necessity For Schanz’s Property

Managing Editor

The city of St. Marys is taking the first steps into the acquisition of real estate in the downtown area.

Councilors passed Resolution 2019-07, declaring the necessity and intention to appropriate for municipal purposes for property at the Palm Building located at 103 W. Spring St., owned by Kalvin Schanz’s company, Counsel Appraisals Inc. 

Director of Public Service and Safety Greg Foxhoven said there have been three offers sent to Schanz in an attempt to acquire the property, but the city has not heard back. Foxhoven said as part of the third offer, the city put in a notice that if Schanz did not respond to the city’s final negotiation, it would pursue this resolution. 

Law Director Kraig Noble said it had been determined by city administration, in work with architects and engineers that the Palm Building is the best site for the city municipal building and for it to remain downtown as part of the Spring Street reconstruction project that will take place in the future.

“They looked at some other sites, but this is the best,” he said. “We are indicating our intentions to proceed with the appropriations, also known as the eminent domain, of that parcel.”

Noble pointed to a court case the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gave governments the power to take property for economic development purposes.

“This just gets the process started,” Noble said. “We are not setting a price, we are giving the owner of the property notice that we do intend to proceed upon passage of this resolution.”

Noble said the resolution only required one reading from council, and the resolution was passed without the need to suspend the rules. Noble said the process could take up to a year — pointing to the number of notices the city has to send as well as dealing with the complication of going through Counsel Appraisals Inc., which no longer exists.