Galion city officials are moving forward with the leasing of the former HTI (Hydraulic Technologies LLC) building after city council passed an ordinance to lease the property to the highest bidder.
Bids for the property, located at 850 South Street and now referred to as the South Street Commerce Center, can be provided to the Safety Service Director’s office until 11 a.m. on May 2.
Mayor Tom O’Leary originally stated that the Toledo Port Authority would act as the city’s real estate agent but decided that the city would move forward with the leasing of the property on its own. A plan to create a city port authority is still on the table.
“A port authority is not necessary. By using a short-term lease, however, the city will have time to decide whether or not to move forward with a port. If one is formed, it could potentially handle the leasing or selling of the property in the future. A port is still being considered, we’re just slowing down to decide if it’s the right tool for Galion,” said city communications director Matt Echelberry.
Echelberry said research has been done on other cities with port authorities in place and said it appears that it can be difficult to find qualified, experienced people to appoint.
“I spoke to several people, including the Blanchard Valley PA and the Guernsey County PA. Tom followed up with the one from Blanchard Valley, Jerry Arkebauer, whose primary concern was that it can be difficult to find qualified, experienced people to appoint. He said a lack of experience in what to do and how to do it is the reason many ports fail. He recommended either contracting with an existing port, which the city had already tried, or just leasing the building. In weighing all options, the administration decided to lease it in order to get a tenant quickly,” Echelberry said.
The formal legal notice reads as follows:
The City intends to lease the property to the highest and best bidder. The standard for determining the highest and best bidder is set forth in City of Galion Ordinance 2016-28.
The City of Galion accepts no responsibility for expenses incurred by responding bidders in the preparation or submittal of a bid and reserves the rights not to enter into any contract with any bidder, to waive any irregularities, informalities, or inconsistences in the bids, and to reject any and all bids received. In the event the City of Galion is unable to negotiate a satisfactory contract for lease of the property with a chosen bidder, the City may terminate negotiations with that bidder and enter into negotiations with the next highest and best bidder for lease.
Bid forms can be obtained from the office of the Safety Service Director, by visiting the City’s website at www.galion.city or by calling 419-468-1857. City of Galion Ordinance 2016-28 provides additional details on the information to be included as part of the bid. Each bid proposal shall be accompanied by a certified check drawn on a solvent bank, or a bid bond and be the equivalent of three months’ rent.
To schedule a site tour prior to bidding, call the City of Galion at 419-468-1857.
Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras