Aldermen say the firm that currently occupies the Red Cedar Inn building will have to vacate the property by June 28, as notified.
In a 5-0 vote in a closed meeting Tuesday, aldermen denied a request from Gallagher Mechanical LLC to remain in the Red Cedar while the firm constructs a new building to house its business.
In the same meeting, the board finalized an ordinance requiring the renovation architectural firm to limit its focus only on the building to its intended use as a museum, genealogy library and welcome center, and placed $100,000 in the new budget toward renovation of the 1934 structure.
“I don’t know how quickly we can begin work on the building, but I want to be prepared,” said Alderman Herb Adams. “We put $100,000 in the current budget and I want to add another $100,000 for the new budget.”
Michael Gallagher, whose great-grandfather built the famous Route 66 eatery, purchased the building from his mother and uncle and located his mechanical business there for several years.
In September 2017, he sold the building to the city and entered into a lease to remain in the building on a $1,000-a-month lease while he searched for a building to relocate his business.
Aldermen voted two months ago to take possession of the building and move forward with plans to renovate the structure and move the city’s museum, genealogy library and visitor center into it.
Gallagher was notified on Feb 21 that the city wished to take possession of the building by June 28. Gallagher appealed to aldermen to allow him to remain in the building while he constructed a new building for his business.
In an appeal letter to the city dated April 1, he said the firm would not be able to get its entire company and contents moved by that time. He also said he searched for a year for a suitable building and finding none, bought property and plans to construct a building.
Gallagher was unsure how long it would take to get all his items out of the building, but he said he would make the process move as quickly as possible.
In a closed session Tuesday, aldermen voted 5-0 to deny the extension request. Alderman Drew Stotler abstained from the vote, saying Gallagher was his client.
In the same meeting, aldermen gave final approval to an ordinance limiting the focus of the architectural firm, Patterhn-Ives, St. Louis, to the intended uses of the building as a museum, genealogy library and welcome center, and made plans for a future meeting with the architects.
City Administrator Steve Roth said the city needs to have a stakeholders meeting with the architect to determine how the building would be set up.
“We need to get all parties together in one room to discuss how to occupy the building and how to operate the center,” he said.
The upcoming meeting will not be a replay of the previous meetings that involved public input on the future of the building, Roth noted.
If a quorum of the board of aldermen or any city committee is present, the meeting would have to be posted as a public meeting, but would be focused on the stakeholders and not become a public input session.
Roth said he will contact the architects to determine their availability and set an evening meeting. He also will notify the stakeholders.