“We think it is a very good opportunity to take down this building at a very reasonable cost,” Monroe City Manager Vincent Pastue said.

The old Sacks Furniture building on E. First St. will be demolished soon in a joint venture between the City of Monroe and Monroe County.

The city council unanimously approved splitting the cost of the demolition and environmental remediation of the property during its virtual meeting Monday. The city’s share will be $50,150 and the council approved another $5,000 in contingency.

Meeting video:

City manager Vincent Pastue explained that the collaboration is a result of the efforts of city Community Development Director Jeffrey Green and county Treasurer Kay Sisung, who have been working together to tackle the acquisition of blighted tax foreclosed properties within city limits.

“One of the more challenging foreclosed properties was Sacks Furniture,” Pastue said. “(We’ve) resisted acquiring it due to the unknown cost of demolition and environmental remediation. In April, the county treasurer inquired if the city would be willing to split the cost of building demolition. They received a bid of just a little over $100,000 ... We anticipated it being much higher than that.”

The money for the project will come from the city’s demolition budget included in the general fund. Pastue said that Sisung has indicated to Green that the county will work with the city regarding the future sale of the property, which would include reimbursement based on the city’s contribution. Sisung does not plan on seeking reelection as county treasurer when her term expires Dec. 31, so the city approved a brief memorandum of understanding as part of Monday’s action.

“We think it is a very good opportunity to take down this building at a very reasonable cost,” Pastue said.

Councilman Andrew Felder echoed Pastue’s opinion of the project.

“I just want to thank the county treasurer for participating in these sorts of development projects with the city,” he said. “I do understand that development opportunities are open to many townships throughout the community, and I’m happy the city takes advantage of them. I think this will be good for the community.”