WATERVLIET — City commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved the $20,000 purchase of a currently unused property at 390 N. Main Street. The move is the first element of a two-step transaction in which the Downtown Development Authority will be the ultimate buyer of the space.
The property being acquired is adjacent to a city parking lot next to Jot Liquor, City Manager R. Tyler Dotson told commission members. The acquisition, he said, “offers a unique opportunity for a public space in the heart of downtown.”
Ideas that the DDA has discussed for future use of the property, he said, include a possible farmers’ market, band shell, pavilion, or expanded parking lot.
The Downtown Development Authority, led by local business operators, finances improvement projects designed to bolster Watervliet’s downtown district. It isn’t a part of the city government, though the agency and the city are often in close contact.
The DDA will ultimately purchase the 390 N. Main property, Dotson explained, noting that authority members recently approved funding for the acquisition. But because of certain procedural requirements the city will be the initial buyer. The downtown authority will subsequently pay the city the full purchase price and take ownership.
No city funds will be spent on the project, he emphasized, in response to questions from the commission.
In addition, commissioners voted to spend $3,608 to fund purchase of video equipment for the police vehicle used by Watervliet’s School Resource Officer. The equipment upgrade of the police vehicle acquired last year, Police Chief Timothy Sutherland said, “brings the car into compliance” with existing requirements.
Commissioners also voted Tuesday to appoint Watervliet residential general contractor Michael Noack to the city’s planning commission. Following the unanimous vote, Mayor David Brinker briefly halted the meeting to formally swear in the new planning commissioner, who fills a board vacancy.