A new company may receive a building for free under an agreement with the city of Parsons, as long as the firm replaces the roof.

During their regular Monday evening meeting, city commissioners will consider a lease-to-buy contract with Apex Wood Products that would give the company the former Grandview Products building at 2015 Gabriel Ave.

The city bought the building from Grandview for $300.50, half of the cost of the title insurance, in 2014 after the company relocated its operations from there to a new building in Flynn Industrial Park. The city staff had thought it could be used to store some equipment.

Jim Zaleski, economic development director, said during a Thursday work session that the city hasn’t been storing anything inside the building because of “gaping” holes in the roof. The commission agenda indicates recent storms have worsened the roof, rendering most of the property unusable. The city only stores trash carts on a loading dock outside.

Luther Piper and Brad Cole also attended the meeting to explain the work Apex will do in the building.

Piper said the company will custom build molding that will be installed in projects by his construction company based in Springfield, Missouri. The construction company performs work all around the U.S.

Zaleski said it has been difficult for the construction company to get molding, often specialized, on a timely schedule from third parties, so Piper decided to start a side company. He said after the meeting that he decided to locate Apex in Parsons because Cole is from here as are some other workers.

Piper said the company will start with three workers but expand to five or six by the end of the fourth year. That’s a conservative estimate, he said.

Commissioner Tom Shaw asked how the operation would affect the neighbors. There is a home east of the property across from an alley. 

Zaleski said the building is heavily insulated because it was a cold storage facility long ago, so the noise should be restrained. Additionally, Apex will do work similar to what Grandview was doing before vacating the building.

The proposed contract calls for Apex to put a new roof on the building within the first year of operation. Zaleski said the roof will cost over $100,000. If Apex is still in operation in the facility after the fourth year of the agreement, the city will deed the building to the company.

In another matter Monday, the commissioners will consider approval of a resolution that would set a public hearing at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 concerning the creation of a community improvement district for the Holiday Inn Express and conference center near Cattle Drive and North 16th Street (U.S. 59).

Parsons Hospitality Holding LLC, owner of the hotel and conference center, has requested the community improvement district.

Designation of the property as a community improvement district would allow Parsons Hospitality to charge an additional 2% sales tax above city, county and state sales taxes. Revenue from the extra tax would go back to the developer for reimbursement of the cost of exterior lights, curbs and the parking surface. The sales tax will sunset when the cost is recouped.

Zaleski said use of community improvement districts is a very common practice used for new development.

“This is an economic development tool that’s being used more and more,” he said.

If a restaurant is built on land reserved for that purpose near the hotel, the owner also could request a community improvement district.

“As we start to populate up there, I think you will see it more and more,” Zaleski said.

The commissioners also expect to hear reports from city staff regarding downtown parking, the mill levy, the Neosho County Sheriff’s Department and the Parsons Historical Museum’s 2019 season.

The commissioners will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the commission room at the Parsons Municipal Building.

In other business, the commissioners will consider:

— Approving payment of $6,103.54 to DGM Consultants for city building assessments.

— Setting 10 a.m. Nov. 21 as the time to receive bids for Parsons Municipal Swimming Pool improvements.

— Approving a bid for the rebuilding of the 1500 block of Morgan Avenue.

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