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Business/Money

December 18, 2010

Not quite a done a deal for Globe Mechanical in New Albany

Council to meet with business about property sale

NEW ALBANY — The New Albany City Council plans to meet with Globe Mechanical Inc. President Marlin Andres on Tuesday about the company’s proposal to purchase two pieces of public property.

Last week, the Board of Works and Public Safety announced that Globe Mechanical submitted the lone bid to purchase two city-owned properties near the company’s West Seventh Street location.

The properties and buildings once housed city street department and sanitation operations. They are considered excess land now that the city has taken control of the former state-owned garage along Grant Line Road as part of a deal for New Albany to assume control of about four miles of Ind. 111.

The former state garage is in the process of being converted into the new digs for the New Albany Street Department.

City Attorney Shane Gibson informed the council Thursday it would have to take action on Globe Mechanical’s proposal since it fell short of the asking price and appraised value of the properties.

Globe Mechanical’s offer was $225,000, and Gibson said the appraised value for the land was $285,000. He initially asked the council to take action on the proposal when it met Thursday, but the body decided to hold off on a vote primarily so it could negotiate with Andres on dealing with environmental issues associated with the land.

The city has been responsible for environmental monitoring and cleaning on the site for more than 10 years as ordered by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Gibson said there’s a chance the city could recoup the money it has spent on monitoring the property — possibly as much as $200,000 — if it continues to at least pay some amount toward future decontamination efforts on the land.

If the property is sold to Globe Mechanical, under the agreement the company will be responsible for future environmental monitoring, Gibson said the city would lose its opportunity at getting back any of its past investment in the site.

John Rosenbarger, director of public facilities projects for the city, said it’s not a certainty New Albany would get money back from IDEM even if it continues to pay for environmental monitoring.

“I’ve heard it’s probable, but you can’t bank on that,” he said.

It also has not been determined how many more years of environmental monitoring will be required for the properties.

Globe Mechanical needs the land so it can expand, Gibson said. The company plans to hire about 40 employees as a result of the expansion, he added.

As to the offer, Gibson said $225,000 was not a bad bid. He added it would be tough to ask for more money since there were no other offers.

“It makes it tough to get a counter offer when you don’t have any bargaining chips against it,” he said.

Councilman Dan Coffey complimented Globe Mechanical for bringing jobs that pay more than $30,000 a year to New Albany. He added Andres turned a property that was once dilapidated into a viable business.

“If you look at what he bought, he’s cleaned up some of the problems considerably,” he said.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday and also is scheduled to take a final vote on a $1.7 million appropriation to balance the general fund budget

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