Ceylon eyeing options for old city hall

CEYLON — Ceylon City Council this week discussed the fate of the former City Hall building, which houses the museum.

An engineer’s report suggests that work to stabilize the building would cost about $114,000. The building is more than 100 years old and in some disrepair.

The council discussed budget concerns related to the building as well as finding possible donations.

Suggestions to demolish the site and build something more efficient to house the museum, add storage for city and create a community center were discussed.

The council will invite the Ceylon Area Historical Society to a meeting to get its input on the matter.

In other city news, officials say Ceylon Area First, a non-profit group, would like to revamp the Ceylon Fitness Center and put in an Eye Play system.

The city approved allowing the group to use the space rent-free for a trial period of six months.

Sponsors will be sought to help with that expense.

Youth using the system will sign waivers and use the system free several times per month. The intention is to help youth in the area have a good source of monitored fun and exercise.

In other business, the council:

o Welcomed newly elected Mayor Fred Schmidtke and Councilman Wayne Walter.

o Approved appointments to committees and departments.

Councilman John Gibeau will work with the park department and serve as acting mayor. Tom Plumhoff will work with the cemetery association and utilities department. Wayne Walter will liaison with the fire association. Chad Dunlop will work with the utilities department and as ordinance officer.

Mary Muller will continue as city clerk and treasurer. Jim Plumhoff is the Public Works employee. James Wilson is city attorney.

o Rejected a proposal to increase council wages by $5 per meeting.

o Approved making the last payment on the water main project done last year. A Public Works employee noted that the city has saved 400,000 gallons of water since November and December because of the leaks being repaired.

o Discussed demolition of two houses on Main Street. The clerk and Walter will talk to county commissioners to ask for help with demolition expenses. The city has a fund for demolitions but there is not enough money in it.

o Discussed the many trees that were damaged in the September storm. Officials talked about planting more. City employees will obtain quotes on cost, and find out if the Conservation League will help. The matter was tabled.

o Heard a report noting that two city pumps went down recently because of non-flushable materials being put into the system. Residents will be reminded once more to eliminate the flushing of items other than toilet paper.

o Heard a report noting that the fire association is considering getting a new tanker, and looking into some grants for turnout gear.

o Discussed improvements at the softball fields in town. There are two tournaments planned. Discussion was tabled until the next meeting.

o It was reported that the council will meet next at 6 p.m. Feb. 12 at City Hall.