August 9, 2016
by Tami Wenger, Gloryland Ministries
The fate of the Bailey house, former home of the West Liberty Police Department, hangs in the balance. It has received another two weeks grace period before the Town Council makes it's decision. At the most recent Town Council meeting, it was decided to gather more information before making the decision of tearing down the historical landmark, letting the Historical Restoration Committee raise the funds to restore it back to it's time period or selling it to someone who will restore it.
Decision #1- Tear it down. To do this the town council would have to have asbestos removed and torn down at a cost to the city, with the possibility of saving the bricks for another project. If this happens, there is talk of making a city parking lot with five parking spots, which is needed.
Decision #2- Letting the Historical Restoration Committee restore it. Lot #17 that this house sits on has a long historical past. Known as the Bailey House, home of George F. Bailey, a prominent business man. Bailey had a 3-story brick block on West Baird Street which held the Logan County Bank, I. S. Miller's Meat Store, David Gill's Dentistry rooms and Odd Fellows Hall. His name can be found at the top of the building where Sheryl's Beauty shop and All Star Awards & Trophy's is located today. According to family history the brick house was built in the early 1850's. However, the deeds list that can be found at the Logan County Court House says Bailey bought the property on August 29, 1865. The history of Lot #17 goes back to John Enoch selling the lot to Simon Robertson on October 9, 1828, however, the Bailey family owned it the longest from 1865 to 1990.
The Village of West Liberty purchased the property on January 22, 2012 to house the Police Department. The police department is currently in the Community Building while the city looks for a more adequate space and central location if possible. If the Historical Restoration Committee gets to restore the property it could be the future home of a West Liberty Museum. If this decision is made, then the committee would have a year to showcase the home, and start raising funds needed for restoration. The City Council has discussed paying the amount needed to secure the property so the committee can move forward.
Decision #3- Selling it to someone interested in restoring it. City attorney Chris Moell is looking into the legalities of selling the property. The house is located across the alley from the West Liberty Fire Department, so they need to be mindful as to who it is sold to if this decision is made. City clerk Cindee Boyd is looking into how much insurance would cost if the Bailey house is secured for the next meeting on Monday, August 22, 7:30 pm at Town Hall.
The Historical Restoration Committee and City Council members would also like to hear from village residents about what they think should happen. Should a piece of West Liberty history be torn down for 5 parking spots, saved, restored to it's former beauty and possibly turned into a museum or sold to someone else who will restore it. Call the West Liberty Restoration Committee member at 937-592-5158 or 937-441-7573 or The West Liberty Town Council at 937-465-2716 before the next meeting.
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