“I”m tired of talking about a city building,” he said angrily. “We had a plan for a building, but that was overturned, I guess, by the people.”
Voters two years ago decided not to renovate the former Marting's Department Store building on Chillicothe Street for use as a city building.
Now the city wants to spend about $12 million for a building on Washington Street where the former Adelphia Communications building sits.
“It's already been established that this (current city building) is not worth putting money into,” Kalb said.
Some city officials want to sell the current city building to a developer who wants to build a hotel and convention center on the site.
City Council President Howard Baughman last month would not name the developer.
Kalb said the city needs more lodging and is in the process of losing the Miss Ohio USA pageant because of the lack of lodging.
“Now that's somebody from the outside coming in and saying you need more lodging or we're going to go elsewhere,” Kalb said. “So why wouldn't we be working towards what the outside people are saying our city needs?”
He said those in the audience at the Council meeting refuse to listen to what he says about the issue.
After Kalb finished, Councilman Mike Mearan joined in. He was the chairman of a committee that recommended building at the Adelphia site.
Mearan also is the attorney for a California physician who sold the building to the city for $1.
“Now we have the opportunity to have a new building,” he said. “I don't think it's going to be lavish or anything like that. But I think it's time we had pride in our community and have a new building.”
Renovating the current building is a dead issue, Mearan said.
“Council voted 6-0 to build a new building on Washington Street,” he said. “Everyone has options to do what they want to do. But we're going to move forward. We're going to have a new building. We're going to pay a fair price for what we need. I think the end result will be something we can be proud of.”
Mearan said construction on a new building will start next spring.
“We're not going to do what we've done for the last 25 years,” he said. “For 25 years, we've been talking about building a new building. Nothing has been done.”
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.