IGA building sells, to be torn down



July 14, 2010 - 12:00 AM

The old IGA building on North State Street will be demolished within the next five months.
Iola city commissioners were told Tuesday that Iola Industries had a pending contract to acquire the old grocery store, which has sat vacant for the past 20 or so years and fallen into disrepair.
Commissioners had delayed a June demolition hearing until Tuesday, at which time they were told of the pending sale.
Commissioners said they would give the new owners 150 days to have the structure removed.
John McRae, president of the Iola Industries board, told the Register this morning that the group is talking with the Kansas Army National Guard about using the property, although nothing has been finalized.
In related matters, commissioners scheduled condemnation hearings for Aug. 24 for owners of dilapidated properties at 609 S. Sycamore St. and 216 N. Third St.

A NEW fire truck acquired for the Iola Fire Department may mean slightly lower insurance premiums for some businesses and industries in town.
Commissioners approved the purchase of a 2010 Pierce Velocity Pumper for $445,000 from Pierce Manufacturing.
The city had been setting aside funds over the past several years to purchase the pumper, which will replace a 1976 truck that no longer passes a pump test required by the Insurance Services Office (ISO).
With the new truck, capable of carrying 750 gallons of water and pumping 1,500 gallons per minute, the city’s ISO rating is likely to improve.
A city’s ISO rating looks at such things as fire suppression equipment used by fire departments, water supply and city facilities to help insurance carriers set premiums for businesses and homeowners.
The lower ISO rating may not mean much for residents, but larger businesses and industries could see premiums lowered by 1 or 2 percent, Leapheart said.
The new pumper is a demo truck, said Iola Fire Chief Donald Leapheart, and is currently being shown to other fire departments throughout the Midwest. Delivery is expected by early August.
It will have about 7,000 miles on the odometer when it arrives, Leapheart said, but is certain to meet the city’s fire suppression needs for decades into the future.
“We trust Pierce,” Leapheart said. “We’re replacing a truck we’ve used for more than 30 years,” also a Pierce.
It will cost about $74,000 to equip the unit and have it ready for service, Leapheart said, putting the total price tag at about $519,000. The city had planned to spend about $550,000 to purchase and equip a new truck.

THE IOLA Public Library is seeking about $18,000 more in its 2011 budget than previously, in part because of added expenses to maintain the newly acquired Flewharty-Powell Annex. The former home was donated to the library earlier this year and will require about $7,000 annually for maintenance, said a letter from the library’s board of directors.
Without added funding from the city, the library may be forced to cut staff, the letter said.
“In short, both the facilities, and all prior services, will not be able to be sustained without additional funding,” the letter said.
No decision was yet made on the increase. Budgets will be finalized in August.
Commissioners did approve a number of change orders for ongoing renovations to the library, totaling $3,309.

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