We have never intended to “gut” the building, emphatically declared Mayor Brett Merkley and council members in reply to the Corinne Historical Society accusation in regard to the future of the historical Methodist Church. We want to update those things that need renovation, in order preserve the building, they said, and cannot put funds into renovation of things that do not belong to us (the city).

And so the unrest continues between the Corinne Historical Society and Corinne City as to the ownership and responsibility of maintenance of the Methodist Church. In a letter presented and read to the Corinne council, Jan Asay, society spokesman, stated that a lot of research has gone into keeping the building as close to the original construction as possible, and the wish of the society is to continue to preserve the building as an historical site for others to enjoy.

As a closing statement, Asay continued to read, “We would love to work with you in preserving one of the last pieces of our history that is still standing.”

Beulah Wells, vice president of the historical society, stated that they wanted to be in partnership with the city to keep the building as a church and historical site and requested access to keys to enable tours to continue as needed. Also requested was access to the building in the back as it is used to store costumes and props for plays and are sometimes loaned out for other performers. Mayor Merkley suggested the use of some type of Tuff Shed for that purpose.

In answer to the fear of turning the building into a community center, Mayor Merkley remarked that its use now is that very thing. He referred to Wells’ listing of events already having been housed in the church, namely weddings, recitals, tours, annual community cantata, and meetings of various types.

What exactly are your plans for the building, queried the society. Merkley invited them to listen to the proposed five-year plan of projects, which include those for the building and would be discussed during the next part of the meeting. Preservation has always been our intent, stated the mayor.

Although ownership of the building is clear to the city, as title is recorded at the courthouse, it is still in dispute in the minds of some members of the historical society.

As the meeting continued, the five-year capital improvement plan for Corinne City was presented to the council. Each year included some renovation of the Methodist Church. In 2020, replace the Methodist Church roof; 2021, air conditioning and brick repair of the church; 2022, floor and addition of restrooms; and 2023, continue Methodist Church improvements.

In other news, Fire Chief Clint Norman put out a plea for more members as “this month we have been hammered” with many calls, especially hay stack fires.

Council member Paul Tomas announced he has accepted employment out of state and this was his last council meeting. Replacement will be through advertisement and application may be obtained at city office; contact City Recorder Kendra Norman for more details.

Corinne Second Ward will celebrate Christmas holiday with a ward party on Dec. 6. The First Ward will hold a Christmas breakfast on Dec. 14. Christmas decorations are increasing. Keep up the good work and spread the light and glitter of the holiday all over the area!

Corinne City council members will judge city lighting of yards and houses on Dec. 17. As always, prizes will be awarded to the brightest, twinklingnest, blinkingnest, etc.

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