Walbridge asked to fix business site
Written by DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer
Friday, 07 December 2012 10:37
WALBRIDGE - A building that has cost the village thousands of dollars - but keeps a business in town - could need an influx of more cash.
At Wednesday's meeting, the manager of Professional Transportation Inc. asked council to consider making several repairs to the Drouillard Road building, including repaving the parking lot.
Richard Glesser said the repairs could be a factor in the business renewing its lease in April.
"Our intent as a company, we'd like to stay where we are," he said.
Glesser added that the building repairs had been brought up when PTI first leased the building from Walbridge in 2009.
"There were some conditions and assurances made, which so far haven't been met," he said.
Other issues in the building are a leaky roof which has led to mold issues, poor lighting in the parking lot and a possible improper survey that is encroaching on the property. The parking lot is a priority, he said.
"We do need that, especially with the fleet of vans growing … we really need that done," he said.
Acting Mayor Ed Kolanko said PTI had council's support.
"We are going to do what we need to do to keep your business here," he said.
Council voted in March 2009 to buy property at 30801 Drouillard Road, which was formerly Lebro Chemical, for $70,000. PTI, which used to be located on Main Street by the library, leased the building from the village, covering the mortgage and taxes. The lease agreement was designed to keep PTI in the village. The business is responsible for about $20,000 annually in income tax to the village.
Glesser said the company's 135 drivers, including 16 who live in the village, also support Walbridge businesses, such as the Skillet and 7-Eleven. PTI transports CSX and Norfolk-Southern railroad crews to and from trains, including posts in Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Kentucky, Indiana and Chicago.
The agreement, however, ended up costing the village $40,000 more when the building was first purchased. Work to get the building ready had to be contracted out, resulting in the unexpected costs.
After Wednesday's meeting, Kolanko put the extra PTI costs at about $55,000, but said they were worth it to keep the business in Walbridge.
"We have to be supportive of it. It does supply additional business to the businesses here in town," he said. "As landlords, we have to take care of the property the village owns."
Also at the meeting, council:
• After a 10-minute executive session, voted to continue acting village administrator Kenneth Frost's contract through March. Frost, who is the police chief, was named interim administrator in February.
• Read a letter from Mayor Dan Wilczynski into the record. It asked council to reconsider spending $36,956 on machinery, equipment and furniture for the pool. The mayor said he was entering an official protest in the village journals because the expense is causing the yearly expenses to be in excess of $30,000. "As you know, one of my main drives each year for my administration is to ensure that we do not spend more than we bring in each year," he wrote. Council, however, said the money was taken out of village savings. It was also noted that the total expenditures and revenues for 2012 wouldn't be known for four more weeks. In other pool news, Councilwoman Sue Hart-Douglas, chairwoman of the parks and recreation committee, said there is a $25,000 estimate to fix the walls and jets at Aqua Terrace before the new liner is installed. Council also voted to support her motion to seek a state grant for work at the pool.
• Tabled an ordinance to extend the sales listing agreement for village properties with Lennex Realty Co.
• Heard the streets committee would meet Monday at 8 a.m., followed by the safety committee at 9 a.m.