City says yes to start negotiations for use of old laundromat building

by Delta Discovery Staff

The Bethel City Council approved an action memorandum that directs City administration to investigate, and if possible, negotiate a contract with an individual for use of the City’s old laundromat building and bring it to council for approval prior to December 15th, 2019.

The old laundromat is located next to the City’s watering station on Ridgecrest Drive across from the BNC apartments.

According to Action Memorandum 19-56, Byungsun Park submitted a letter to the City Manager dated August 2019 in which he expressed interest in potentially leasing the City laundromat building for use as a laundromat.

In his letter, Park estimates that it would cost him $60,000 to remodel it and make the building usable.

“I have been wanting to open a laundromat in Bethel for some time now,” said Park in the letter. “The citizens of Bethel need a laundromat.”

Park said that he is a certified washer/dryer and dry-cleaning service technician and has the funds available to do the repairs and remodeling of the building.

On May 28th, 2019, the Bethel City Council approved an ordinance to demolish the building. The demolition was planned for January or February 2020 after the ground freezes sufficiently to allow heavy equipment to access the property and remove the demolished materials.

The old laundromat building has fire damage.

“The Public Works Department has struggled to maintain security of the building since due to its old age and state of disrepair,” states Ordinance 19-09 which authorizes the disposal of the building by demolition.

“If someone wants to use it and make the space usable again, I think we might as well allow administration to explore that,” said council member Mitchell Forbes.

“You will see the deadline – the building is scheduled for demolition in January so this deadline ends December 15th. We have also not asked you to repeal the ordinance for destruction, just to allow us to look into the matter to see if there is something feasible there,” said Acting City Manager Bill Howell. “I would be expecting a contractor’s estimate of repairs or something to that effect.”

There will also be an appraisal for fair market rent value, said Howell.

The item passed unanimously.