City finalizing plans to buy former ODOT garage

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Marysville City Manager Terry Emery, left, Streets Superintendent Joe Tracey, center, and Public Service Director Mike Andrako, right, discuss the possibilities of a heated outbuilding on the Chestnut Street site of the former Ohio Department of Transportation garage facility. The city is working through plans to purchase the site from the state. (Journal-Tribune photo by Mac Cordell)

The City of Marysville is moving forward with a plan to purchase a former Ohio Department of Transportation facility.
Friday, representatives from the city, ODOT and EMH&T, an engineering firm contacted to conduct an environmental assessment on the site, toured the former ODOT garage on Chestnut Street.
City Administrator Terry Emery said the city is finalizing a sale agreement with the state.
The deal calls for Marysville to make a $300,000 payment on the 5-acres site facility this year and a $275,000 payment to complete the purchase in the first quarter of 2021. The state has agreed to allow the city to use the facility and make improvements while the sales agreement is being finalized.
Marysville has been eyeing the property since the state said it planned to build a 35,000-square-feet garage at Collins Avenue and Route 4. Last year, the state finished the $8-million facility and moved operations there.
Marysville Public Service Director Mike Andrako said the city’s Maintenance and Operations Center (MOC) on Maple Street has been crowded for some time.
“We don’t have nearly enough room,” Joe Tracey, streets superintendent for the city, said.
The Maple Street facility, built in 1999, houses the city’s streets, parks and water departments. Andrako said because of space, there isn’t enough room for employees to work safely, effectively or efficiently. Additionally, many pieces of equipment must sit outside all year long.
Tracey said the situation costs the city money in lost time for employees and in lost lifespan for equipment.
Andrako said that about five years ago ODOT notified the city of plans to move.
“At that point, we put our plans on hold because we knew we could buy and renovate this cheaper than we could expand or build something new,” Andrako said.
Officials said the facility on Chestnut has existed since 1968, though the largest maintenance building with administrative spaces was built in 1895.
Emery added that the ODOT facility is “textbook for what we would have been looking to do anyway.”
Last year, city officials budgeted $300,000 to purchase the site, which includes 11,000 square feet in buildings, including the maintenance building, several out buildings and a pair of salt storage domes. Officials knew that likely won’t be the final price, but ODOT told the city it could be used for budgeting purposes.
City plans were put on hold, however, when the site was appraised for $575,000.
“When we heard that, we hired someone to check their appraisal and it was very accurate,” Emery said.
City officials said even with the nearly doubled price tag, it is still more cost effective to purchase the former state facility.
“For what you are getting for the money, it’s a good deal, it really is,” Andrako said.
Emery said the site already has things like lifts, hoists, generators, heaters and mixers.
“Those things add up when you start to have to buy them,” the administrator said.
He added that the city is “doing its due diligence” to make sure the site is a clean site, “environmentally.”
Mitch Blackford, district deputy director for ODOT said the state is pleased to be able to work with Marysville.
“We are always looking to partner with our locals and this was an opportunity to do that and allow them to move in and make their operations more efficient,” Blackford said.
Emery said City Council members have already toured the site and have given “very favorable feedback about the opportunity.”
Officials said the ODOT site is not a stopgap until something larger can be built. Andrako, Emery and Tracey each said the facility should be big enough to last another 40 years at least.
“We can absolutely store every bit of equipment we have, here in this facility,” Emery said. “And the potential we have, with the acreage that we have here, is really desirable.”
Andrako said the site will need a new roof in the next five years. He said there is other work to be done, but nothing nearly as substantial.
“We are going to do as much of the clean-up and work as we can in house, as weather permits,” Emery said.
Officials said City Council will still need to give final approval to the purchase and the process.



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