Council sidesteps solicitor’s advice

SALINEVILLE – An improperly entered bid nearly prevented village business owners from renting out the long-empty, village-owned Kaiser Building.

Village council began accepting bids to rent out the first floor of the three-story, 5,980-square-foot building in September after Nikki and Chris Lewis, owners of Main Street Primitives, expressed an interest in relocating their business there.

The Lewis bid was the only one received and it was opened Monday night.

The couple offered to rent the building for $200 per month plus water, sewage and one-third of the heating bill, since they will have access to only one floor.

As Fiscal Officer Becky Tolson presented the bid to council, Village Solicitor Andy Beech stopped her, asking if the bid had been submitted with the required proposal form included in a bid packet which prospective lessees were supposed to pick up before submitting a bid. Tolson responded that all that had been submitted was a handwritten proposal.

“I don’t know if that proposal there is going to have all the information on it they were required to provide,” said Beech.

Beech told council the bid not only was improperly submitted, but the deadline for accepting bids had also passed, and therefore the village may be forced to begin the process of advertising and taking bids over again.

“These people have been waiting for a couple of months to get this building,” said Councilman Zeb Locklear. “They’re running a business – they’ve got to make some money.”

Council called an executive session for the lease of real property. After returning, council announced legislation to enter into a commercial lease of the Kaiser Building – effectively side-stepping the problems caused by the improperly submitted bid.