Committee discusses sale of Babcock building

By Frank Lewis

December 31, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

At their Dec. 10 meeting, members of Portsmouth City Council’s Parks, Recreation, Service, Buildings & Cultural Committee discussed everything from having a pet park to a city-wide flea market to a possible interest by someone in purchasing the Babcock building from the city.

Again, one of the city’s blighted properties came up for discussion. Saddler said there have been some individuals have contacted him with interest in purchasing the Babcock building, located on Sixth Street. The city received that property in trade for another plot of land which was turned into a new location for the Babcock Eye Care practice on Seventh Street.

During the discussion, Saddler suggested having a sealed bid or auction for the selling of the property. Waterworks Director Sam Sutherland suggested the group conduct some research to find how the city sold other property in the past and use it as a template to follow with the Babcock property. He also suggested that the property be reappraised to get an updated value. Saddler said he would contact City Clerk Diane Ratliff and have her research her files to see how other properties were handled.

Casey Glenn and Kismet Bratchett discussed a listing of events that are currently ongoing in Portsmouth throughout the year with the aspirations of creating other city-wide activities that do not conflict with on going activities. They also proposed having a festival of trees event for next year , which would include auctioning off trees, wreathes and other decorations to raise money for the city’s Recreational Fund. Bratchett said she also want to invite crafter and food vendors and charge them a setup fee to participate in the event. It was also suggested holding a pancake breakfast with Santa at an indoor location and to provide a free breakfast to children under the age of ten.

Another discussion centered around holding a city wide flea market/yard sale on the parking lot of Spartan Municipal Stadium. Again, food and craft vendors would be invited to participate along with any individual, family or group, each being charged a setup fee with the proceeds going to the city’s Recreational fund.

Another idea that came up at the meeting was to have free movie nights for children and their families during the summer months in Tracy Park. It was suggested charging vendors could help offset the cost of activities, and remaining funds would be applied to the city’s Recreational Fund.

Saddler said the city’s Recreation Fund is to be used for the maintenance and repairs needed in the city’s parks.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.