Holland officials recently found a new use for a building council members sold about 12 years ago - and they bought it, returning it to the village.
The village owned what had been the Holland post office, but sold it in 1992 for about $100,000 because the village was strapped for cash.
“We really needed the money back then,” Mayor Mike Yunker said, “and we didn t have any use for the building.”
It became available when the most recent tenants, The Gem Safari, decided to relocate their business to Hawaii.
Mr. Yunker said the building, which is next door to the village offices that are at 1245 Clarion Rd., will fill a growing need for office and storage space.
The village paid $125,000 for the building, said Village Clerk Lyn Krasula.
She said offices in the municipal building are “maxed out,” and she noted that because village offices are boxed in by other buildings, the railroad tracks and Clarion Avenue, expanding to the north is the only way available.
Mr. Yunker said the building is in good shape, but the interior will need to be redesigned and restrooms will have to be installed. In addition to providing space for offices and storage, the building will have enough space for a community room.
The space, the mayor said, could be used primarily as a senior center, but would also be made available for other community groups and functions.
The mayor added that the driveway to the newly purchased building would be a benefit for firefighters when they respond to an alarm.
They have been using the drive on the south side of the municipal building, which can be hazardous because of public parking there and people driving in and out. The drive for the former commercial building to the north could be used primarily for the firefighters so there isn t the same potential for an accident. Before any offices are moved into the building, Mr. Yunker said ideas will be considered and then specific plans will be drawn for its new use.
He added that among the plans will likely be a walkway or a more extensive connection between the municipal building and the new acquisition.