City Council hears Wilson School proposal

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Cherokee City Council at Tuesday night’s meeting learned a party has interest in possibly renovating the vacant, aging Wilson Junior High building as an historical edifice in the community.

Shawn Foutch, JMAE, LLC, gave a presentation on how his company specializes in developing rental housing out of historical buildings. He has looked at three buildings in town and thinks that they are all great candidates for historical rehabilitation.

Foutch says his company is really interested in rehabbing the Wilson School, as it would be an easy and fast rehab. He also said typically his company purchases and remains the owners of the building, and has a management company that manages it for them.

The building is problematic for the City, with legal proceedings ongoing concerning the current owner and the risk of the facility becoming a municipal liability as a hazardous structure in a deteriorating condition.

The Cherokee School District sold the building a few years ago and legally has no obligation in the matter. According to City Hall, demolition of the structure, including asbestoc removal and landfill fees, could costs as much as $500,000 or more.

In other action, the Council reviewed two grant administration proposals from Simmering & Cory and SIMPCO, and voted to award Simmering & Cory the grant writing and administration services for the Euclid/Spruce to West Bluff sewer line.

Hannah Vorries, Urban Conservationalist, is asking for support from the City and Council to submit a grant she has been working on with Bolton & Menk to help get the funding to put in a Bioretention Cell and Rain Garden by the Community Center.

The Council agreed to authorize Vorries to go forward with submitting the application.

Todd Wetherall, Kellen Ludvigson, and Brian Lauck were present to give an update on the airport. The current 28E does not expire until 2019 and they would like to get the City’s commitment to renew the current 28E so that they can start planning for upgrades to the airport. They are currently working with the County Supervisors to get the same commitment.

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