EATON — Preble County Commissioners are currently accepting bids for the 2.145 acres of land upon which the former Preble County Art Association’s art center building sits, located at 601 Hillcrest Drive.
The property has been at the center of much debate since the PCAA renovated and moved into its new location in downtown Eaton.
At the heart of the debate has been the fact the county commission is the owner of the acreage upon which the facility sits, but the building itself is owned by the PCAA. A lease agreement for the property has been in effect since 1990.
According to the lease, “if the building to be constructed on the leased premises is used by the lessee other than for the purposes set forth herein, or if the lessee suffers any violation of any building code then in effect in the City of Eaton, Preble County, to remain uncured for a period of six month from date of notice of same, or should lessee abandon the leased premises, then this lease shall be deemed terminated and of no further force and effect, and any buildings erected on the leased premises by lessee shall become the property of the lessor.”
The PCAA offered past commissioners the opportunity to purchase the building from the organization and had also said it was willing to buy the two acres on which the building sits so it could be used for additional art purposes or be sold to another entity so the proceeds could be used to enhance the new Preble Arts operation on Main Street.
Newly elected Commissioners Rachael Vonderhaar and Adam Craft decided to move forward with the bidding process for the sale in early January.
Bids will be opened in the office of the Preble County Commissioners’ Office in the Preble County Courthouse at 11 a.m. on March 22. A minimum bid of $60,000 has been placed on the property.
A copy of the bid specifications can also be obtained at the Preble County Board of County Commissioners’ Office, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The legal advertisement is scheduled to appear in The Register-Herald beginning Wednesday, Feb. 17, and can be viewed online at www.prebco.org.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 or follow on Twitter @emowenjr