City To Have Palm Building Appraised

City officials will have the Palm Building appraised on Wednesday in another step of the eminent domain process.
Managing Editor

The city of St. Marys is taking another step in its goal to acquire a downtown building.

Confirmed by Director of Public Service and Safety Greg Foxhoven, the city will have the Palm Building, located at 101-103 E. Spring St., appraised on Wednesday.

Foxhoven said a notice was sent last week to Tim Townsend, owner of Counsel Appraisals Inc. as well as a copy to both property owner Kalvin Schanz and attorney Kenneth Hitchen, stating that the city plans to hire an appraiser to see how much value the Palm Building is worth. Foxhoven reiterated that getting the property appraised from the city's prospective is the next step in the eminent domain process.

According to the Auglaize County Auditor, the land that the Palm Building sits on is valued at $30,500 and the building value is $103,260 for a total value of $133,760. Taxable value for the property is $46,820.

City administrators are attempting to acquire the Palm Building to construct a new municipal building to not only keep the main city operations downtown but to serve as a move toward its downtown revitalization efforts.

In addition, the city is seeking eminent domain since Schanz has still not negotiated with the city.

As part of the eminent domain process, St. Marys Councilors have passed a pair of legislation, Ordinance 2019-11 and Resolution 2019-07, authorizing appropriation of certain real estate and declaring the necessity and intention to appropriate for municipal purposes for property. These pieces of legislation is necessary as part of the eminent domain process.

According to Cornell Law School, eminent domain refers to the power of the government to take private property and convert it into public use. The Fifth Amendment of the United State Constitution stipulates, however, that government may only exercise this power if it provides compensation to the property owner or owners. 

With the need of acquiring the Palm Building, the city has been in a stalemate with Schanz for the better of two years now.

The city sent a letter to Schanz to negotiate for the purchasing of the property on March 9, 2017, Dec. 7, 2017 and a final offer on Feb. 7, 2019. The city’s third letter indicated to Schanz that it would more than likely follow-up with the eminent domain process if it is not able to obtain a negotiated agreement from the owner.

With no contact from Schanz in the two years the city has reached out to him, council passed, unanimously, Resolution 2019-07 in February and Ordinance 2019-11 during a June 11 meeting.