By Terry Schrimscher
SPRINGVILLE — Springville Mayor Dave Thomas proposed the purchase of the Crown Binder building in the historic district in downtown Springville during the June 7 meeting of the Springville City Council. The asking price for the property is $275,000.
Mayor Thomas presented an agreement to purchase the vacant building with the contingencies of a passed inspection and further approval from the council.
Thomas addressed concerns expressed by members of the council about the city getting in the real estate business and purchasing properties.
“Getting into the real estate business is not a fair accusation because we are not getting into the buying and selling. We’re getting into the acquisition. The buying and holding and preserving,” said Thomas. “If we’re going to preserve our historic buildings, we’re going to have to do something other than wish someone else did.”
Mayor Thomas proposed using the building to relocate the Springville Library which would free up space to return some city office space to the current library location but said it would ultimately be up to the council and the people of Springville to determine how to best use the property.
The Crown Binder building has been home to a graphic design business and a Studebaker dealership during its history. An adjacent building, also part of Crown Binder, was presented as a gift to the city in 2010 but it later collapsed.
Thomas told The Tribune he would like to see the building restored.
“I think it would be a worthwhile investment, on the city’s part, to rehab the building and put the library in the building,” Thomas said. “We would have the library under one roof instead of having an annex, we would be able to open up Park Avenue and relieve some of the traffic congestion, especially when the four-way construction begins. And ultimately, if I can get the spring uncovered, the lake restored, that would make a fantastic downtown draw.”
The council did not vote on the potential purchase of the property but Thomas said he hasn’t lost hope for his vision.
Councilor David Vinson said he would like to see an individual purchase the building and restore it. He said the old buildings downtown are in need of major repairs and he feels the city does not have a use for them or the funds to make necessary repairs. Vinson said he is open to hearing different options and he said if he hears one that is best for the city, he will support it.
The council approved the adoption of a master plan for the development of Big Canoe Creek Nature Preserve. Doug Morrison introduced Lea Ann Macknally, of Macknally Land Design, who spoke about the master plan for the Big Canoe Creek nature preserve. Macknally outlined some of the features of the nature preserve including hiking trails, camping, fishing and other outdoor activities such as horseback riding and canoeing.
“The vision for Big Canoe Creek Nature Preserve is to be a model for ecological preservation, ecological restoration and environmental stewardship,” said Macknally. She said the initial plan would contain approximately 11 miles of trails with primitive trails and more accessible trails with a design that would be mindful of the several species of wildlife living in the streams and creeks on the property.
Council member Sherry Reaves asked the design team to rethink their plans to include an amphitheater in the preserve saying a large, constructed stage would be best in a park rather than a nature preserve. Macknally said the plans would evolve over time as work begins.
The council approved a consent agenda including approval of a purchase of a used Bobcat skid-steer for Parks and Recreation and $3000 for training programs for public works.
The council also approved an internship program for cadets participating in the Civil Air Patrol.
In the work session prior to the meeting, the council also discussed the location of speed bumps along Crest Circle to deter speeding and racing through the neighborhood.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for June 21.