REED CITY — Residents of Reed City will soon say farewell to one of its oldest buildings, as demolition will begin on the Osceola Inn next month.

At a Jan. 21 city council meeting, council members unanimously voted to award Midland-based Bierlein Companies, Inc. the bid to remove the inn, which dates back to the late 1800s.

In December 2012, the city applied for and received a blight elimination grant from the state, and the state set a deadline for the grant funds. Demolition costs are expected to be about $327,000, but the funds from the grant will help reduce the cost to about $312,000. Yoplait and Osceola Inn owner Scott Flaska have been negotiating on the sale of the property for months, and closed on a deal in November, according to Reed City Manager Ron Howell.

Brian Rice of Fleis and VandenBrink, an architectural and engineering planning firm specializing in small communities, addressed the council and said the demolition process will begin with prep work and the removal of all hazardous materials. Prep could take as much as one month. Demolition will not affect the structural integrity of buildings connected to the inn, Rice added.

"In some ways it's a sad day, but it's also a day of progress," said council member David Bisbee following the vote.

Though Yoplait's plans for the space remain unknown, Howell said it may be used for an additional business parking lot.

In other business, Council members approved motions to:

  • Seek two sets of bids for zero-turn mower and all-purpose maintenance machine for the Department of Public Works,
  • Seek bids for a new pickup truck for the Waste Water Treatment Plant, and
  • Provide additional pay of $400 for Deputy City Clerk Amy Hensel while City Clerk Jackie Beam takes a leave of absence for two weeks.