Warsaw Evangelical Presbyterian Church places bid on old city hall

(Dan Spalding / Times Union)

Warsaw’s old city hall – on the auction block for several weeks – appears to have a buyer.

Warsaw Evangelical Presbyterian Church, located just to the west of the old city hall, placed a minimum bid on the property Friday shortly before the deadline.

Representatives of the church offered $140,000 for the property.

The city’s Board of Public Works and Safety will review the bid Friday and could take action on the issue.

City Planner Jeremy Skinner informed the board that the bid meets all of the requirements set by the state and state code, according to paperwork that is part of the board’s online agenda information.

The building at 302 High St. has sat empty for five years since the city moved most of its operations to an old bank building at 102 S. Buffalo St., across from the Kosciusko County Courthouse.

What to do with the  building had been on the back burner until Lakeland Art Association began inquiring about the property last year.

Lakeland officials have said they would like to renovate the building into an art museum, and had asked the city to either gift the property to the group or lease it for a very low price.

Mayor Joe Thallemer, in response, said he felt a duty to at least make the property available to the public before considering Lakeland’s request.

The 60-day bidding process began in late March.

The church bid was officially recorded at 2:17 p.m. Friday, just hours before the end of the bidding timeline.

The city had two appraisals for the land. One was for $208,000 and the other was $183,000.

Friday’s Board of Works meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. in the council chambers in city hall.