Hannibal postpones sale of Murphy Motors building

Posted: Jan. 15, 2013 10:53 pm Updated: Feb. 5, 2013 11:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Hannibal City Council on Tuesday tabled the pending sale of the Murphy Motors building at 422 N. Main.

Entrepreneurs Bill Martin and Lance Smith have proposed transforming the historic building into a brewpub, with plans to open this summer. Eventually, they hope to also use the building for gaming, event space and a grocery store.

Mayor Roy Hark expressed confidence at the Jan. 2 city council meeting that the sale would be approved quickly, but City Attorney James Lemon asked Tuesday for more time to study a counteroffer. Details about the counteroffer were unavailable.

“I don’t think it would be prudent to accept anything without proper review of these changes,” Lemon said.

Lemon suggested some measures may need to be discussed in closed session, but no motion was made to go into closed session. The mayor told Martin the city would most likely approve the sale once Lemon felt comfortable with the counteroffer.

“We just want to keep everything in the right spirit … we have to rely on his guidance and wisdom,” Hark said.

Parks and Recreation Director Andy Dorian addressed the need for renovations at Chris Walton Field in Huckleberry Park. The field sits at the bottom of a hill, and water poses maintenance and playing surface difficulties.

“Ideally it would not have been built at the bottom of the hill, but it was,” Dorian said.

He hopes the problem will be resolved by repairing asphalt and creating a drain system to direct water into a nearby creek. The council approved a resolution to enter into an engineering service agreement for $27,000 with Poepping, Stone, Bach and Associates of Quincy, Ill.

Dorian also asked the council to enter into an engineering service agreement for $10,500 with Klingner and Associates of Quincy to dredge the marina. He said the city can’t continue rentals this season without dredging. He estimated the entire project would cost $70,000 to $100,000. It cost $91,000 the last time the city dredged the marina. Dorian said the Parks and Recreation Department budgeted $170,000 for the project.

The council approved the resolution, but Councilman Mike Dobson questioned the use the marina receives.

“It’s a booming industry by no means … boating has just gone down,” Dorian replied.

In other business, the council approved an agreement with Ed Rutherford Roofing Inc. to repair the roof of the park maintenance shop for $29,420 and a request by Police Chief Lyndell Davis to buy a three-channel radio voter that determines which tower gets the best signal from a portable radio an officer is carrying.

The equipment was included in the current budget, and A&W Communications quoted $8,020 for the replacement.