The Galva City Council authorized city staff to purchase the Opera House building for no more than $25,000 at Monday night’s meeting.
The building has been sold to an investment firm — Ms Investment Group of Peoria — for back taxes according to City Administrator David Dyer. The motion was made after an executive session to discuss real estate.
If the city is able to complete the purchase, Dyer said the Galva Economic Development Committee will market the building after the city puts on a new roof and fixes the windows. The building consists of three store fronts on Front Street, one on Main Street, the Opera House and an apartment once occupied in the basement.
The Galva News is currently the only tenant in the building.
In other council business:
• Mayor Rich Volkert and second ward alderman Rick Otterstrom were sworn into office by City Attorney Dan Alcorn. A plaque was presented to outgoing mayor Rich Nordstrom for his eight years of service.
Nordstrom thanked the citizens of Galva, city employees and city administrator Dyer. He said that a couple of businesses would not be in Galva if not for Dyer’s efforts.
• Greg Peterson from Bruner, Cooper and Zuck went over plans for a permanent music stage in Wiley Park. Peterson said he enjoyed the Sunday night concerts — the 10-week Levitt AMP Galva Music Series — and would not charge the city to come up with the stage plans.
The stage would be 900 square feet and 30 inches tall, and columns and a roof could be added at a later date. The estimated cost for the concrete would be $7,705 with volunteer labor, and that does not include the re-enforcement in the concrete. The stage would be handicapped accessible.
Peterson said if the city wanted electrical access at the stage, that would have to be priced by an electrical contractor.
• The council approved borrowing $360,000 at 4.8 percent interest at Community State Bank for the 2019 street program.
The program will cover much of the downtown area, along with the southeast section of the city.
The payments on the loan will be made out of the telecommunications tax. The final balloon payment will be paid when the downtown TIF expires and the city will have additional tax monies — between $80,000 to $100,000. The street program this year is $477,000 and the city has $125,000 in Motor Fuel Tax money.
“We have to get this done. There is no one in this room that would disagree. We have to do this,” said third ward alderman Wayde Buck.
• Supervisor Greg Thompson told the council he had the Main Street sewer televised and part of it is in terrible shape and in need of immediate repair.
Thompson added it’s an emergency situation and he ordered the materials. He talked to Ratliff Brothers, of Kewanee, and they can come at a cost of $2,600 per day. Thompson said he thinks it will be around 10 days to complete the work.