Sporting his blue Middle River summer-rec t-shirt with the words, “Middle River Strong,” on the back, Middle River Mayor Mark Stromsodt led a public meeting at First Lutheran Church in Middle River on September 10. The object of this meeting? To discuss the purchasing of the Middle River School building from the Greenbush-Middle River School District.
By the end of this public meeting, the city council decided to officially notify the school board that it would buy the building with the stipulation. The GMR School Board reacted to this announcement at its September 17 meeting, by approving the purchase agreement on its end. How did the city agree to move forward with this decision?
At the end of this September 10 meeting, Mayor Stromsodt and the city council asked Middle River landowners and residents to vote on purchasing the Middle River School building for one dollar from the Greenbush-Middle River School District, with the stipulation that it not be used as a K-12 facility for 10 years. The public didn’t hear any official vote totals at the meeting, as Middle River City Clerk Lyzette Olson announced that just one person had voted “no.”
“Unlike other boards, our council is going to go with the people,” Middle River council member Josh Veselka said.
Mayor Stromsodt announced the city’s decision at the September 17 GMR School Board meeting. Later in the meeting, the GMR School Board approved the purchase agreement– to sell the building for one dollar to the city with the 10-year stipulation that begins from the closing date, which will occur on or before October 31, 2018.
The motion carried at 8:18 pm, making the sale agreement on the school’s end official. The city will have the opportunity to approve the agreement on its end at its Wednesday, September 19 meeting.
The decision from the city comes after Mayor Stromsodt, at an August 20 school board meeting, expressed to the board that the city wanted to buy the building, but not with any stipulations. Not budging from the stipulation, the school board then approved the motion, by a 5-2 vote at this August meeting, that it would give the City of Middle River until September 17 to decide to purchase the building with the stipulation. If the city decided to not purchase the building by this date with this stipulation, the district would then put the building out on bids.
At this August 20 meeting, Mayor Stromsodt said the city would still present this offer with the stipulation at a public meeting in Middle River. If the public supported it, the city would move forward with it, Mayor Stromsodt said at that time.
At this Middle River public meeting, Mayor Stromsodt said the city’s two biggest concerns with the building were taken care of– the heating/boiler system and the roof. He added how the city also received asbestos reports from the school as requested, and said the city doesn’t have any concerns regarding this issue.
Read the September 26 issue of The Tribune to read more about this issue, including the discussions had at the Middle River public meeting on September 10.