Plans for former Days Inn move ahead

Plans continue to move forward with the planned purchase of the former Days Inn hotel property in Oil City.

Oil City Council members approved an agreement with the Oil Region Alliance and Oil City Redevelopment Authority regarding the purchase at their meeting Thursday, and city solicitor Bob Varsek gave an overview of where things stand.

In July, council adopted a resolution authorizing the city to purchase the hotel from Oil City Hospitality LLC, run by the Shah family.

The price tag for the hotel is $499,000 plus closing costs.

The ORA will contribute $200,000 toward the sale and will also get the first option to purchase the property once the hotel is demolished and the site is cleared, Varsek said.

Due to some legal technicalities, Varsek said that if the city assumes ownership of the Days Inn, transferring that property at a future date would be more difficult.

Instead, the Oil City Redevelopment Authority will assume ownership of the Days Inn when the sale goes through, according to Varsek.

The five-story hotel, which closed in 2019, has been in a state of major disrepair for quite some time and has been vandalized over the course of this year.

Several months ago, council also approved applying for a Keystone Communities grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development for $500,000 to raze the hotel.

The ORA will take the lead on managing the demolition of the building and will also take the lead on marketing the property, Varsek said Thursday.

“If the property is sold down the road, the city will be reimbursed for the acquisition costs,” Varsek said.

Varsek said that since council has already approved the purchase of the property, all that remains at this point is finalizing some things regarding the property title and scheduling a closing date.

He added that he expects the sale to go through by the end of November.

In other business at Thursday’s council meeting, the panel approved appointing outgoing mayor Bill Moon to continue representing the city as a member at large on the Council of Governments and the Venango County Land Bank.

During public comment, Joe Brown presented a petition signed by Fisher Avenue residents asking the city to address the issue of drivers speeding down their street and that traffic be slowed to 25 mph on Fisher.

Paul Myers of the Oil City Junior Baseball Association updated council on improvements the Junior Baseball Association has made to the Hasson Heights softball fields.

About 164 tons of dirt and infield mix have been put on the Hasson fields, Myers said.

He also asked council for permission to add some dirt to the fields at Mitchell Avenue.