POMEROY — The old Pomeroy High School building now belongs to a new owner.
Mayor Mary McAngus told council that the building had officially been transferred to Mark Porter in accordance with the bid he placed nearly a year ago, which was formally accepted in February of this year.
McAngus stated that the deed had been transferred to Porter and that the sale had been paid in full.
The announcement came on a night when bids from the most recent sale advertisement were to be opened by members of council. According to a legal notice printed in The Daily Sentinel on multiple days in October, bids for the property were to be submitted by Nov. 9 to the village.
McAngus said that four bids had been received by council and would be returned unopened along with a letter stating the reasoning. McAngus stated that Village Solicitor Mick Barr would help with sending out the letter.
Porter had submitted the only bid in December 2011 on the property which is adjacent to his auto dealership. The bid of $20,250 was much less that the asking price of $60,000. At the time it was estimated that it would cost $40,000 to demolish the structure. The village had advertised the property for sale twice in 2011, with Porter’s bid coming from the second advertisement. There were no bids the first time.
While council accepted the bid at the December 12, 2011, meeting an ordinance approving the sale was not passed until Feb. 13. Ordinance 758, an emergency ordinance, accepted the bid by Mark Porter Chevrolet and approved the mayor to sign the deed for transfer of the sale.
During the April 9, 2012, meeting of Pomeroy Village Council, McAngus signed the deed allowing for the transfer to take place. At the time it was estimated that the closing would take place later that week or early the following week.
The sale of the building was not discussed with council again until June 25, when McAngus told council that the dealership did not go through with the purchase of the property. No action was taken at the time regarding the property.
Three months later, in late September, council approved to advertise the building for purchase for a third time.
Porter spoke with council during the first meeting in October, stating that he would go ahead and purchase the building if council had the proper title/deed. On more than one occasion during the meeting, Porter noted that there was an issue with the title/deed. Porter said that he never received the deed to the property and stated that Village Solicitor Mick Barr had spent several months doing research to locate the deed. Council member Phil Ohlinger said this was the first he had hear of any issue with the deed.
At the time, Porter was told that he could not buy the property since it was being rebid.
The building — which was built in 1914 — was home to the Pomeroy High School Panthers until the school consolidated into the Meigs Local School District 40 years ago.
Following the consolidation, the building became the Pomeroy Municipal Building, housing the water office, police department and other administrative offices. The building has set vacant since the village moved operations in December 2009 to the former Millennium building.
The property, according to discussion, was transferred from Meigs Local School District to the Village of Pomeroy in 2011.
Present at the meeting were council members Vic Young, Ruth Spaun, Dru Reed, and Robert Payne, McAngus, village clerk Sonya Wolfe, Village Administrator Paul Hellman, and Police Chief Mark Proffitt.
More on Monday’s council meeting will appear in a later edition of The Daily Sentinel.