Aldermen to vote next week on sale of City Hall Annex building to Quincy Township for $1

City Hall Annex

Quincy Township, which has its offices on the second floor of the City Hall Annex building, made an offer to buy the building for $1 on Monday night. | File photo by J. Robert Gough

QUINCY — The purchase of the City Hall Annex building by the Quincy Township inched closer to a conclusion Monday night. Quincy Mayor Mike Troup then proposed spending township money to help solve some of the city’s housing issues.

Before the weekly Quincy City Council meeting, aldermen first handled business as the Quincy Township board. Alderman Mike Rein, R-5, asked township legal counsel Gerald Timmerwilke to explain the Local Government Property Transfer Act. It allows the city to transfer the property to a coterminous township (having the same boundaries as the city) with no restriction on price.

Rein then made a motion to amend the purchase price of the annex, west of City Hall across the parking lot, from $347,000 to $1.

“The taxpayers paid good money for it, and we don’t need to pay twice,” Rein told the township board. “The remaining amount of money will go towards renovating that building (which needs a new roof, windows and other repairs at a cost of $336,000, according to an Architechnics report). There’s no question there’s some work that needs to be done.”

The township board voted unanimously to amend the resolution. It then voted 9-2 to make a $1 bid for the annex and send the resolution to the full council. 

“We demonstrated good government tonight by doing this,” Rein said afterward.

However, when the resolution came up to a vote during the council meeting, Dave Bauer, D-2, asked to table the resolution for another week.

“I want to have more people here,” Bauer said.

He noted three aldermen — Jeff Bergman, R-2, Brianna Rivera, R-3, and Tony Sassen, R-4, were absent.

“We need to get (the ordinance) written out the way it’s supposed to be,” Bauer added.

State law says coterminous townships may only hold a certain amount of reserve funds. Excess funds are transferred to the related city to be allocated. Quincy Township has more than $660,000 in what would be considered excess funds.

At the conclusion of Monday’s meeting, Troup tossed out the idea of using the excess funds to address housing issues throughout the city.

“I’ve been meeting with the landlord association, getting into the details with (the city’s department) of planning and development and with (the city’s) inspection department, and meeting with the Safe and Livable Housing Committee,” he said. “As we’re talking about the annex building, it dawns on me that the one government entity that we have that works for the low-income people is our township with general assistance. 

“Well, here they are, looking at doing something. I don’t know that buying a building is the number one. You could get to keep that space by signing a three- to five-year lease with the city, and they’re only paying $3,600 a year. You’re not going to get a better deal. Why not lock that in, then turn around and have that money go toward a housing project? Quincy Township has money, which is another big hurdle, and they’re targeted to work with that group of people.”

Bauer was skeptical afterward.

“I don’t know what the mayor said there at the end,” he said. “If he thinks we should put this money towards redoing people’s apartments. I’m not sure I agree with that. But that’s the way he kind of made it to believe.”

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