It will be too costly for Plympton-Wyoming to convert an old church into council chambers so the building is about to go up for sale again.
When the church came up for sale in 2013, council felt it was an important asset and scooped it up. The town purchased the former Presbyterian church on Main Street about eight months ago for $145,000.
The land connected with the church stretches into the parking lot which Foodland customers and municipal staff use. There had been a friendly agreement allowing the grocery store, the church and the municipality to jointly use the lot with the municipality plowing the snow in the winter. Napper says council was concerned what would happen to that agreement had the church been sold to an outside party.
Mayor Lonny Napper hoped Plympton-Wyoming could secure the parking for the businesses and the current municipal office and perhaps convert what he calls one of the nicest buildings in town into council chambers.
Municipal staff looked into the idea and found it would cost at least $400,000 to renovate the building and make it wheelchair accessible.
“Basically it is the elevators and stuff to make it handicap accessible that make it so expensive,” he says. “It was just getting to expensive for our needs and we felt we could make due with what we have for now…
“Unfortunately the economic times, with policing costs going up and our funding being cut, just don’t allow us to do this.”
Napper says town staff is now looking at how to sever the parking from the church and after that is complete, the church will be back on the market. “We’re just hoping to find a buyer who will do it justice.”
“It wasn’t something council took lightly; we looked at all the avenues. The parking was the big issue – hopeful we can market it to someone who can make us proud.”