By Bob Weaver

An ordinance was introduced Monday at Grantsville's council meeting that sets the guidelines for dispose of the old town hall property. The ordinance passed 3-2.

If the ordinance passes a second reading, it will be up to the town's voters to decide about selling the property along State Routes 16 and 5.

The site has been the subject of trade deals, restraining orders, and counter offers between Grantsville businessmen Jim Morris and Steve Satterfield.

Satterfield once announced he wanted the property to build a convenience store.

In 2003 Morris initiated a Town Hall Committee whose goal was to build a new town hall on the site. That project was to take six months to a year.

After the building was condemned, Morris donated labor and equipment to remove the buildings from the real estate.

Monday evening, councilman Gaylen Duskey, put forth an ordinance concerning dispersal of the property.

Duskey's ordinance says the rationale is to "allow the citizens of the Town of Grantsville more input into their government and to prevent any politically motivated or the appearance of politically motivated dealing."

The ordinance says that the town can only disperse of the property (real estate) via auction, reserving the right to reject any and all bids.

It calls for a minimum bid to be set by council and that such an auction can only take place following a referendum of the citizens of the Town. Such a referendum has to pass with a 60 per cent positive vote.

Duskey said "For way too long major decisions have been in the hands of a select few people who could even make these deals in virtual secrecy. It is time for this to stop."

The second reading could approve the ordinance at the next council meeting.

In other Council action:

- Gave Municipal Judge Jacob McCumbers the ability to issue letters to any person having five unpaid parking tickets that are 30 days delinquent.

- Had a second and final reading of an uninsured vehicle violation, adding an ordinance to the town's books.

- Set March 22, 2007, meeting for the second reading of the water and sewer rates ordinance and set a second meeting on the same evening to adopt a budget. The first meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the Little Court Room.

- Police Chief J.D. Nicholson announced he had obtained two grants for purchase and equipping a new town cruiser, a 2000 Ford Crown Victoria. The grants will cover the entire cost of the vehicle.

- Approved a revised proposal from Thrasher Industries for the sewer project.

- Discussed parking meter problems, council advised that parts to repair the meters had been received.

- Chief Nicholson gave a brief report about police equipment that was missing. The equipment was on the books but not found when Nicholson took over. Nicholson indicated he would begin an investigation into the missing equipment.