By Bob Weaver

A long-sought solution regarding what will happen with Grantsville's town hall property continued Tuesday after council decided to wait longer so the Town Hall Committee can raise funds for a new municipal building.

The buildings have been razed, leaving a large hole adjacent to the town parking lot.

An architect for a new town hall estimated the cost at about $250,000.

Some council members questioned the lack of progress on the project, indicating they might be in favor of putting the property on the auction block.

Councilman Gaylen Duskey told council that "This would be one of the most unethical things council has ever done," alluding to putting the building on the auction block.

Duskey said many people have donated money and work toward a new town hall. The committee raised about $10,000 toward the project, most of which Mayor Wilbert Kerby said has been spent on getting the building down. Other groups made pledges on the project.

The Mayor praised Jim Morris for his donation of labor and equipment for the demolition of the old structure, indicating he favored the construction of a new town hall.

The Calhoun Commission, at the request of the town, has prepared a renewable lease agreement to the town to continue using the annex building for a town hall.

The agreement is rent-free, but contains stipulations that the town will provide water, sewage and trash service to the courthouse. The county pays for the gas and electric.

Town Hall Committee member Frank Venezia said "Progress has been made (on the property) the past three years," indicating there is a grant application pending for the construction of a new town hall.

Tim Meeks with the Ohio Valley Regional Council indicated there were some grants available that might pay a percentage on the construction of a town hall, maybe $25,000-$50,000.

Venezia indicated the price of donated services was a large investment, from which a buyer should not easily benefit. "If you paid Jim Morris for what he has done, it would be a lot of money," he said. Venezia stated that "Spencer has a showcase for a town hall."

Venezia reminded the council that Congressman Alan Mollohan was behind the town getting a new town hall, and suggested he be contacted to come to Grantsville and discuss the issue. Members of the council said they would meet with him.

Councilman Charlie Whipkey said the Town Hall Committee initially asked for six months to come up with a project. "It has now been three years and the people want something done," he said.

Jim Morris, who organized the Town Hall Committee, said the community has done little to help the group. He said "Get out and work with us. We're donating time left and right ... We took resources from our company to donate to the town."

Diane Ludwig of the LKADC advised the group the current town hall location is not handicap accessible.

Lisa Minney, Calhoun Chronicle reporter, reminded council that it took three years to get trash cans around the courthouse square, and it took nine years to get a new water project for the county.

Duskey told the group "If we don't have the moral make-up to stick with this, Lord help us."

See additional stories

Satterfield's Convenience Store Gets Nod

Injunction Hearing In Spencer

Town Property Trade On Hold

Grantsville Town Hall Deal Spinning

Council Wants Solution To Decaying Town Hall

Battle Continues Over Proposed Convenience Store - Morris' Seeking State Property

Committee Will Raise Funds For Municipal Building

The Dust Has Settled - Morris' Win Battle Over Convenience Store

Town Hall Building Declared Unsafe

Watch'er Come Down