By Lance Mihm
ST. MARYS -- A bid to purchase Moulton Elementary School was rejected by school board members at Wednesday's board meeting.
The auction, held June 1, attracted only one bid from Ed Poeppleman of Wapakoneta for $10,000. Poeppleman was present at the meeting and argued about the board's process.
"The auction was advertised in the papers," Poeppleman said. "Everyone had a chance to bid on the property. Now it is in all of the papers and everyone has a chance to see what my bid was and go over it."
School Business Manager Kurt Kuffner said the district received several calls from interested buyers after the auction.
The offers include a $20,000 bid from an anonymous buyer through Glory Real Estate and interest from Rob Hatcher of Lima, who said a business group that is backing him was prepared to go as much as $50,000. Despite Poeppleman's arguments, the board still rejected his bid and plans to again auction the property with a minimum price set.
"The reason your bid is being rejected is not because of the other offers that are coming out," board member Craig Gottschalk said. "I would not have accepted this bid regardless."
The school will go up for auction at 6 p.m. July 7 at the district service center on Celina Road. Local realtors will receive an 8 percent commission if a bidder they bring to the auction is the highest. The auctioneer will get a 2 percent clip of the sale. The minimum bid was set at $50,000.
Hatcher, who was present at the meeting, said he planned to bring a youth-oriented multi-purpose center to the area if he purchased the building.
"It would create about 10 new employment positions for the area," he said.