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Sprouse Formally Refuses PCDA Offer

By Staff | Jan 21, 2009

Christmas bonuses and the leasing out of the industrial park building were among the many topics discussed at the Paden City Development Authority meeting Jan. 12.

Christmas bonuses have been given out since 2000; a motion was made and carried 6-5 via roll call to bring up the bonuses every year and vote on if they should be awarded. The amount of these bonuses were $225 for full time employees and $150 for temporary or part time employees.

They were voted on in 2007, but during this past year, it wasn’t mentioned and a go-ahead was given to allow the bonuses for 2008.

As for the lease with Sprouse involving the industrial park building, Sprouse formally refused the offer in a letter sent by his attorney, Michael E. Hoover. In it, he mentioned that he did not appreciate the time period given to evaluate the options provided.

“As we have discussed before, there are many reasons why we hesitate to enter in any new agreements with Paden City Development Authority including, but not limited to, the history of ongoing failure to maintain and repair the ceiling, the existing and deteriorating condition to the property, and our ongoing concern of your failure to address the environmental issues…” Hoover stated in the letter to the PCDA.

Councilwoman Eileen Smittle asked about putting a classified ad in the paper searching for someone who could fix the leaks in the building as opposed to taking time to write a grant so they could get it fixed.

Ken Stead took opposition, saying just starting to fix the leak wouldn’t be good enough.

“We don’t have the money to go in and do the roof properly,” said Stead. “We’re not going to let it leak. We are working on it, but we’re not going to jump into it just because someone wants to go over there and make a show that we’re doing something. We’re going to do it right or we’re not going to do it.”

The topic of the building was then changed to other potential buyers, with Marble King being the big name on the list.

Negotiations have started with statements being made that it would be convenient for them considering the vicinity. It was said that PPG is now totally out of the picture.

Marble King officials did a walkthrough and were offered the same deal as Sprouse, a three-year lease with an option to purchase.

They appeared to like the possibility of expanding their business by using the building. Both sides, however, are still in the negotiation stage. A decision cannot be made until February or early March.

If Marble King goes with the deal, the authority said it could bring several jobs and increased revenue to Paden City.

In other matters, it was mentioned that he interest rate on the WesBanco loan went from 7.25 percent to 3.25 percent. At that point, the loan balance was $233,008, effective Dec. 29, 2008.

A motion was carried to keep Jim and Loretta Richmond employed through March, however Mayor Bill Fox voiced concern as this motion was passed without anyone having knowledge at the time of their rate of pay. He also had concern about their title and job description.

“Loretta is running the office and Jim is running the maintenance end of the whole ball of wax,” responded Stead.

The motion was carried 6-4 despite no one knowing what the rate of pay was, including the employees.