ERIE — A vote on the city of Erie’s purchase of a grocery store was delayed on Monday.
The Erie City Council expected to have a contract for the purchase of Stub’s Market, the town’s only grocery store, ready for a vote during its regular meeting. City Attorney Seth Jones, however, wasn’t ready to present the contract for a vote on Monday. The council now plans to vote on the purchase during its next regular meeting on Aug. 10.
The council had instructed Jones during its July 13 meeting to prepare the contract for the purchase of the store from Shirlene and David “Stub” Mahurin.
The city has been considering the possible acquisition of the store since last summer after the Mahurins introduced the proposal. The Mahurins haven’t been able to find a buyer for the store, and the council wants to prevent the store from closing.
An economic development committee negotiated a deal with the Mahurins to pay the couple $300,000 for the building and fixtures, plus inventory value at the time of the sale and 0.5% of gross sales for 10 years. Based on 2018 and 2019 sales, that amount would total $60,000 to $70,000. The city council discussed the proposal in April and stipulated that there would be no contract offered unless there is community support.
A city survey sent to all 606 utility customers in Erie revealed strong support for the proposal. Of the 311 returned, 213 people said they favored the purchase.
While the council was unable to vote on the contract, it did appoint members to an advisory committee to guide the city through the transition of ownership. The members are Mike Page, who will serve as chairman, Preston Page, Kyle Buntin, Eddie Hibbs, Cindy Schoenhofer and Lisa Maher. A councilperson also will sit on the board on a rotating basis.