Warsaw’s Board of Public Works approves bid on old city hall

The fate of the old city hall in Warsaw appears to be sealed.

Warsaw’s Board of Public Works and Safety on Friday approved a bid for the old city hall by  a neighboring church.

The move came after a single bid for the building on the corner of High and Market streets was receivedby the city  in the final hours of a 60-day auction period by representatives of Warsaw Evangelical Presbyterian Church, located just to the west of the building.

The church offered the minimum bid – $140,000 – hours before the bidding session ended March 25.

The board’s approval of  the bid came after City Planner Jeremy Skinner said it met all necessary requirements.

The only remaining step is a formal approval of the purchase contract with the church.

Krista Koors, executive assistant to Pastor Dr. Erik Ohman, said the church plans to demolish the building and use the land for additional parking.

Exactly how soon the church will begin demolition has not been determined, Koors said.

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

The future of the building became an issue late last year when Lakeland Art Association representatives began inquiring about the property.

Lakeland officials had 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 requested council attempt to sell the property before considering any other requests.