Star Valley Moves Forward With Building Purchase

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Despite a few concerns over a recent inspection report, the Town of Star Valley will officially own its town hall after closing later this month.

“This is a great accomplishment for a town that is only four years old,” said Town Manager/Attorney Tim Grier at the May 4 council meeting.

Grier said he had the building at 3675 E. Highway 260 inspected before closing and building, pest and septic specialists all gave the site a clean bill of health.

“Every board has been picked, poked or prodded,” he said.

Despite Grier’s assessment of the assessments, some councilors worried he had overlooked several red flags discovered during CEI Inspection Service’s April 12 inspection.

CEI wrote in their report that roughly a dozen areas around the property needed repair. CEI dictated this by highlighting the areas in red, representing safety concerns that should be given the highest priority.

Safety concerns include an old roof, a basement door with a double-cylinder deadbolt, exterior lights that do not work, loose wiring in electrical panels, rust particles in the gas furnace, un-grounded bathroom outlets and a leaking valve in the shower.

Councilor Stephanie Whetten, who is also a real estate agent, said she would not close on a residential property without first addressing these issues.

If left unaddressed, these small issues could turn into big problems in the future, she said.

Grier said he had discussed the report with the inspector and was under the impression the issues were minor and were not of immediate concern.

Since it would not be difficult to put caps on the loose wires or fix the other concerns, Whetten suggested the town make the repairs.

The council asked Grier to rectify all issues addressed in the inspection report. Grier said that an electrician was on site Wednesday and was making repairs.

Beyond the inspection, Cliff Potts, associate broker at Prudential, gave his opinion of the property’s value. Since the 1,850-square-foot building and surrounding half acre of land are in good condition, Potts said he would list the property for sale at $340,000 — $105,000 more than what the town just paid.

So far, Grier has spent $11,100 on renovations, including repainting and carpeting the space and for moving supplies.

The town decided to leave its former town hall, located across the street from the new space, after new property owners wanted to raise the rent.

The town decided it no longer wanted to rent its home and after checking out every available commercial space for lease, settled on the site, which formerly housed Hellsgate Fire Department’s administrative offices.

Also at the meeting, several members of the council said they would attend the League of Cities and Towns Conference Aug. 27 in the Valley and stay at the cheaper Hampton Inn located near the conference.

In addition, after reviewing statements of qualifications from three engineers, the council selected Verde Engineering to begin negotiations with on the Valley Road low water crossing.

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