In a strange twist, the city of Garrison recently discovered it doesn't own its city hall - the Brainerd School District does.
School district attorney Tom Fitzpatrick told school board members Monday that he was contacted by Garrison Mayor John Schley about the former Garrison School, which was closed and then sold in 1982 for one dollar to the city of Garrison for its city offices. It appears that although the school board authorized the sale of the building, the deed was never recorded in Crow Wing County. Fitzpatrick said his own office records dating back that far have been shredded, so his office has no record of the sale.
The school district technically still owns the property.
"It's kind of an odd situation but it's a dilemma for them," Fitzpatrick said of Garrison officials.
Contacted by phone Monday night, Schley said the city was in the process of assessing city hall for sanitary sewer services when it was discovered that the building was still owned by the school district.
"That was kind of a surprise," said Schley. "It was a slip up someplace. There must have been a deed issued and hadn't been recorded but we can't find it."
Schley said city officials plan to begin construction of a maintenance building on the city hall site, which includes an entire city block, but first need to gain ownership of the land. Schley said he was on the city council when the school district gave the city of Garrison the property.
"We've been using the building ever since. We've put in a new kitchen and air conditioning and have done a lot of work to improve the building over the years - and we didn't even own it," Schley said with a laugh. "Or at least it wasn't recorded."
At Monday's meeting, the school board discussed holding a special building committee meeting to address the situation. But following the meeting, Carolyn Johnson, secretary to the superintendent, found the school board meeting minutes of June 14, 1982, in which the school board did authorize the sale. Superintendent Jerry Walseth said as a result, a special building committee meeting won't have to be called and that Fitzpatrick will resolve the matter for the city of Garrison.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
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