The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Council tables ambulance barn vote

 

November 15, 2017



The Whitehall Town Council voted Monday night to table a resolution that would approve the sale of the Ambulance Barn located at 207 E. Legion.

Council member Mac Smith made a motion to table Resolution 2017-08, and asked the governing body to host a special meeting to allow residents the opportunity to speak on the issue and ask any questions they might have about the proposed sale.

A special town meeting to discuss the potential sale will take place Nov. 20 at 5 p.m.

At an Oct. 17 special meeting, the Council approved 4-1 to give Dr. Cory Tebay of Western Veterinary Services a buy/sell agreement with contingencies for the purchase of the building. The offer made on the building by Tebay was $288,000.

Prior to making the motion, Smith apologized to Tebay for what he described as harassment he has received since making the offer. Smith said Tebay has had to suffer with phone calls, and messages being written on his vehicle. Smith said Tebay is a person in good standing in the community, has a good business, and is just trying to buy the building.

“I don’t know why he’s being harassed about this sale. Doesn’t make much sense to me,” Smith said.

The Ward Three alderman added he wants the Council to be able to listen to questions as well as ask them at the special meeting, but listening to some in the audience earlier in the meeting he did not want to host the meeting if there will be people laughing in the back of the room and making comments.

While admitting he does not want this to drag on for Tebay, he wants to have an intelligent conversation with local residents. Smith stated the town notified local residents in the Whitehall Ledger of what the requirements were to make an offer on the building, and only one person made an offer.

Smith and Council member Gary Housman also discussed concerns with siding on the building.

Mayor-elect Mary Janacaro Hensleigh took a strong stance Oct. 17 against the proposed sale. She stated the ambulance barn has been 10 years in the making and the people of Whitehall value the property, adding to sell it for half what it was built for is a really poor business decision.

“I don’t think you will be representing the people in town by doing this. This is their property. You better think long and hard about this,” Janacaro Hensleigh said.

The incoming Mayor also expressed concern about the town getting an appraisal on the building, as well as an agreement the town entered with the Ladies of the Country Store that states the building cannot be sold to a private entity at anytime without full consent of the entire Council.

At the regular Town Council meeting in September, Deputy Town Attorney Elizabeth Musick said if the town decides to sell, there was a contingency placed by the Ladies of the Country Store when they pledged $50,000 to the building, that it could not be approved without a unanimous, not majority, vote of the Council. Town Attorney Guza said Oct. 17 it’s his understanding the Ladies of the Country Store do approve of the proposed sale and they will communicate to the town to wave the requirement.

 

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