By BILL SHEA – Daily Freeman-Journal
The owner of a popular restaurant on the east side of Webster City appears poised to buy the site of the former Shady Oaks Motel from the local government.
”I’ll give you $24,000 right now,” Burke Risetter, owner of Grid Iron Grill & Sports Lounge, told the City Council Monday.
”I’m not asking for a penny from you guys,” he added. ”I just want to grow my business.”
The old motel site at 1203 E. Second St. is next to Risetter’s business at 1121 E. Second St. He said he’s been taking care of the property for the city, and he seemed angry that the council might consider selling it to someone else.
”I do have a chip on my shoulder,” he said.
The city government acquired the former motel and its 2.68 acre property last fall. The building was burned down during firefighter training in April.
City Manager Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez said the council had many options for the site, ranging from putting up a for sale sign to issuing a formal request for proposals.
He said the site has an appraised value of $24,000. He added that city has about $20,000 invested in it, a total which includes asbestos abatement.
Councilmen Brian Miller and Logan Welch both said they would be happy if the city could get back what it invested in the property.
Councilman Jim Talbot urged his fellow council members to take Risetter’s offer.
”You’ve got someone who actually wants to do something in Webster City without chasing unicorns and fairy dust,” he said.
Early in his remarks to the council, Risetter said he was faced with a ”totally disrespectful situation.” But after several minutes of discussion with the elected officials, an opportunity for him to buy the property developed.
Under the plan devised Monday, his attorney is to send City Attorney Zach Chizek a formal offer to purchase the property. That offer is to be submitted this week.
The City Council will hold a public hearing on that offer during its Aug. 6 meeting. That hearing will launch a series of procedual steps that would result in the sale being finalized in September.
”I’m so passionate about my business and Webster City,” Risetter said.
Last modified: July 3, 2018