Council talks purchasing property

London City Council gathered for a special meeting Monday night to discuss the purchase of public property, among other topics.

The meeting was called by Mayor David Eades.

Eades distributed an email last week requesting the meeting, saying it was for the purpose of authorizing the sale of real estate. It was later learned that the discussion was supposed to be about purchasing real estate, instead of selling.

Council president Patrick Closser said he spoke to Zahid Siddiqi, the city’s law director, as to whether the discussion could be held since the topic was improperly advertised.

In an email to council, read aloud by Closser, Siddiqi wrote, “The meeting is to address authorizing the SSD (safety-services director) to sell real estate. I have a feeling this is not correct, and he wants to authorize the SSD to buy real estate. Because this is a public meeting, and subject to the Open Meetings Act, I caution you to not vote on any subject that gives authorization to the SSD to buy real estate.”

Eades said the error was a typo.

Auditor Katie Hensel, Safety-Services Director Steve Hume and Eades were invited into the session, which lasted approximately 30 minutes.

No action was taken.

Prior to the executive session, Herb Eades, a member of the London Board of Public Utilities, told council BPU planned to attend an auction in Lancaster to place a bid on two front-loading trash trucks. The trucks will allow the board to service commercial businesses, he said.

BPU initially hoped to purchase the two trucks from Lancaster for $25,000. However, the Lancaster officials have since decided it best to hold a public auction, Eades said.

Buying new trucks would cost $400,000, he noted.

The action did not require council’s authorization.

Closser questioned why its authorization was on the agenda for the special meeting.

“We’re just trying to keep everybody informed of what’s going on,” Eades said.

Also on Monday, council amended an ordinance approving a capital funding resolution. The amendment removed $40,000 originally meant for micro surfacing, and instead using the $40,000 for street repairs on Keny Boulevard.

Reach Andrea McKinney at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619, and on Twitter @AndeeWrites.