FOREST CITY | The City of Forest City has agreed to take over as owners of the former Casey's General Store at 106 S. Fourth Street, pending inspection of the property.
"It's a free building," said City Attorney Steve Bakke during the Nov. 20 city council meeting.
However, city officials don't know exactly what they will do with it.
"We just don't have any plans set in stone yet," said City Administrator Barb Smith.
Mayor Barney Ruiter said he would like to see the Chamber of Commerce, Grow Forest City and Forest City Economic Development, currently located at 145 S. Clark St., move into the building.
The old Casey's store is on the J Street Corridor from Highway 69 to the Hanson Family Fine Arts Center.
City officials are considering ways to beautify this area.
Ruiter said 1-cent sales tax revenue could be used for remodeling the former Casey's, and city staff could provide the labor.
The city has agreed to purchase the building and land for $1 and pay all costs associated with closing the transaction.
Casey's has agreed to pay all real estate taxes, personal property taxes and special assessments which are a lien on the property as of the closing date.
The city will have to pay any taxes levied on the property after the closing date, but Bakke said this will just be "a smattering."
Bakke cautioned that once the city owns the property, "it's our baby" if contamination is later found in the soil.
He said he's 99 percent sure that won't happen, but "it can come back to bite you."
Bakke said he is a lot more comfortable with acquiring this particular former gas station property than some others.
A hatchery was located on the site "for many, many years," and an underground fuel tank was only installed when Kum & Go bought the property, he said.
The convenience store later became a Casey's.