Audi Assessment Lower Than Hoped

The assessment on the City Auditorium came back lower than city officials had hoped, putting plans on hold for selling the building, City Administrator David Schelkoph said Thursday.

Vanguard assessed the building at $178,500, an amount that will delay plans for the city to sell the Audi.

The Valley City City Commission decided in September to sell the Audi to an interested buyer who met the criteria. City commissioners approved one of two plans presented to them in November. Berkel Properties had presented the city with a plan to repurpose the Audi and make it apartment buildings.

Their investment was estimated to cost $1 million. But because the historic building is in the flood plain, federal regulations prohibit anyone from making an investment unless the building is worth at least what he wants to put into it.

Schelkoph said the price is great for an average building built in 1936, but “it would have been nice to repurpose that building and actually make some money for the city.”

The assessors determined that because of the age of the building, it has about 40 percent life left, Schelkoph said.

“We did ask commissioners for input,” Schelkoph said about future plans with the building. “There might be some other things we can do.”

He mentioned that maybe the city can work with the State Water Commission “get them to see that the first floor is way above the flood plain.”

“We really don’t know how we’re going to proceed, but we’re going to investigate it further and take a look at this and maybe find an answer for the city and that beautiful building,” Schelkoph said.

The city had discussed selling the 1936 building for a couple years. They installed new windows and a roof to it, but decided in 2011 to stop making future investments on the building.

In 2010, the Bridges Arts Council had attempted to raise enough money to turn the auditorium into an arts center, but was unable to raise enough money.