At Tuesday’s Buffalo City Council meeting the council erupted into a verbal melee among themselves and members of the public attending the meeting, over the proposed transfer of ownership of the old Clear Creek School building from the school district to the city.
The council reviewed the amended agreement between the district and the city and approved City Attorney Ben Kirven to draft the a final copy of the agreement for the entities to sign.
Mayor Randy Dyess suggested the council decide what to do with the building, to either turn it over to the Economic Development Joint Powers Board or come up with another idea, because grant applications need to be done soon.
Councilman Dave Long said he wasn't comfortable turning the building over to the joint powers board without having some sort of agreement or other paperwork in place for the transfer.
The Mayor suggested the council make a decision to keep the building or turn it over to the JPB with the understanding the agreement would follow, saying by putting the decision off they would miss the grant opportunity.
Councilman Russ Humphrey said he feels the city should retain ownership of the building, manage it and collect the rent from the tenants to help pay off the city's debt.
The prospectus compiled by the JPB on the site answers the questions put up by Councilmen Long and Humphrey but they claimed they had not seen the prospectus nor read it. The prospectus gathered the opinions of the community that wished to see the Boys and Girls Club and Sheridan College in Johnson County housed there. It also found the entity best suited to take over and maintain the building was the JPB.
Councilman Bill Hawley said the JPB has a proven track record successfully operating the Ouray building, so why try to “re-invent the wheel” and just allow them to operate the school building.
He made a motion for the city attorney to draft an agreement for the council to review that would transfer the building from the city to the JPB.
Councilman Long continued to ask for a meeting between all of the parties involved, citing a number of questions he wanted answered. The questions, according to the council and Adam Teeten with the JPB, are all answered in the prospectus.
The council voted 3-2 to draft the agreement for review, with Councilmen Long and Humphrey voting “nay.”
That led to this exchange.
The agreement will be brought to the council at their next meeting October 15th for their review.