City to Consider Possibility of Purchasing Magnolia House Building for Community Functions

November 7, 2007
Dwayne Page

The Magnolia House is for sale and at least one Smithville Alderman believes the city should consider purchasing it as a community center for youth, senior citizens, and the public at large.

Alderman Tonya Sullivan, during Monday night's city council meeting, made a motion for a feasibility study to be conducted by the mayor and a committee and to consult with the county mayor on possibly making it a joint venture. The motion was approved 5-0.

Sullivan says the asking price for this 10,000 square foot building, the former location of Walker Funeral Home, is currently $750,000 and believes it would be ideal for community functions. " It is an Historical building. It was built in 1913. I would like for this board to take a look at some options at possibly purchasing that building or making some type of lease-purchase agreement set up for the next budget year."

"Mr (Cecil) Burger and Steve (White) both brought up, when the golf course sprinkler system was being discussed, that we need to do something for everyone, as many people as we can. I do agree with that. The senior citizens are meeting in this area (city hall community room) and they host a lot of things, they are very active. I feel like the possibility of purchasing that property, with it being in the downtown area, could serve in many capacities, for senior citizens, for civic organizations. I know reunions are held in this room (city hall). I know there are many things going on which that building could be used for."

"The building has 10,000 square feet and the upstairs has three large rooms and three bathrooms. Those areas upstairs could be rented out as office space to recoup some of the costs or help the seniors citizens out with the heating and cooling. That space (building) would be large enough for senior citizens, boy scouts, girl scouts and would serve this community for banquets and things like that. I know we have to depend upon some of the churches to help us host the golf banquet. That (building) could become city property so that it could be rented out for those type things. It could be a great asset to this community. Maybe the city could work with the county to see if they would assist as well."

"We could also reclaim this area (community room) of city hall, and as we're growing, we could use this space, maybe efficiently for your (mayor's) offices and different expansions that are going to be taking place here. I know a lot of offices are crowded here in city hall but we have a large nice building that we could be using. The current price (of the Magnolia House) is $750,000 at 10,000 square feet, that's $75.00 per square foot. I don't think we could build that building for $75.00 per square foot right now. However, I would hope that is the asking price and that it would be negotiable and I would hope that the county mayor would be interested in a joint effort to provide for this community."

Mayor Hendrixson appointed Aldermen Sullivan, Steve White, and Jerry Hutchins' Sr. to conduct the feasibility study and report back to the city council with their findings at the November 19th meeting.

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