By Graham Sturgeon, staff writer
The Burns Township Board moved closer to purchasing the Streeter property during their Aug. 3 meeting by adding the necessary $71,000 to the bill sheet for the month.
The board voted to buy the property, on W. Maple Street in Byron, in August 2014. The motion did not specify as to whom the payment would be made, because the board was not sure if the money went through the title company, Cislo, or directly to Ernie and Diane Streeter. Trustee Gary Adams abstained from voting on the matter, calling the vote “illegal,” so the board passed the motion by a 3-1 margin.
Adams also challenged the board over the language of the August 2014 vote to purchase the property. Knowing that the board voted to purchase the property for “up to $80,000,” at that time, Adams said during the Aug. 3 meeting that he had expected the board to conduct a vote on the final price before the process went forward.
“The motion said that you could spend up to $80,000 to get the deal done,” Adams said. “When we approve the fire department to buy a new fire truck, they don’t go out and buy the best truck they want; they come back with bids for us to vote on. The board did not have any input on this.”
Trustee Cheryl Cole informed the board that Ernie Streeter had offered to pay half of the closing costs, but that will be voted on at a future meeting. The proposed township hall building plans that Cole presented to the board in July were also discussed during the meeting, with several people doubting that a two-story township hall/library/community center building would be manageable cost-wise. Cole defended her plan, saying later that her building could be constructed for “a lot less than people think.” She has inquired with builders about detailed estimates, but has been told that the board would first have to decide upon square footage, design and quality levels before bids could be made. Cole compromised during the meeting by saying that she would be open to remodeling the property’s existing barn into a township office while the board decides on a permanent solution. The board next meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7.