KEYSER – The Keyser City Council voted unanimously Wednesday evening to put the Alkire Mansion and the majority of Mill Meadow Park on the auction block.

By Liz Beavers

lbeavers@newstribune.info

Tribune Managing Editor

KEYSER – The Keyser City Council voted unanimously Wednesday evening to put the Alkire Mansion and the majority of Mill Meadow Park on the auction block.

The mansion has been a topic of discussion among the city officials and numerous city residents for several months following mayor Damon Tillman’s original announcement earlier this year that an agency was looking to buy the building.

That agency decided against the  purchase, and in the meantime the Mineral County Historical Foundation offered to take the mansion over for continued restoration and care. The Foundation, under the direction of Leon Ravenscroft, had already done work on the structure in a deal struck with the previous city administration.

During the last city council meeting, however, Tillman had announced that another agency was interested in the mansion, but he declined to reveal the agency’s identity. He noted at the time that the agency had a contractor look through the building to estimate the cost of any renovation that would be needed to fit the agency’s needs.

Wednesday, Tillman told the News Tribune the city would have to place the property up for public auction rather than sell it outright.

“The council voted to put  it up for auction, with a minimum bid of $25,000,” he said, adding that the deal would include stipulations that the mansion could not be torn down and the façade would be maintained.

“Along with the  mansion will be a portion of the park,” he said, noting that the buyer “would not get the parking lot or ballfield. They’ll get everything on the other side of the creek,” he said, adding that the gazebo and walking trail behind the park would be included in the sale.

“I believe it will include all the way up to the old tennis courts,” he said.

Tillman said they will have the city attorney examine the plats to determine the exact boundary of the park property, plus it will be stipulated in the sale that the buyer must have the property surveyed.

Tillman, who has taken a lot of criticism over discussion of the sale of the mansion and park, told the News Tribune he wanted to make it clear the decision to sell was made on a vote by council.

“It was not my decision; it was the council’s,” he said.

No date has yet been set for the auction.