OUR VIEW: Council should return building to donors

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 30, 2007

The Demopolis City Council Building Committee will soon decide the fate of a downtown building that was donated four years ago by the Rosenbushes. The couple, Bert J. Rosenbush Jr. and Mary Louise Bell Rosenbush donated the building to the city after the former mayor made a request for the donation. The request sited the need for the building for city and community use.

With this need in mind, the Rosenbushes donated the building in hopes that it would be used for the benefit of the city and its residents. Instead, the building has become in a state of disrepair and the city has made a proposal to sell or demolish the warehouse portion of the buildings donated.

While both sides of the issue can be understood, and the concern of some council members to make the appropriate move with the city’s best interests in mind is commendable, the Rosenbushes offer should be honored.

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The building will not be of great monetary value to the city in its condition. And the Rosenbushes have been good stewards to the City of Demopolis throughout the years. Not only are they offering to cover any expenses incurred by the city, they have stated they in no way want the city to lose a penny in this situation.

The bottom line is that the city made a request for the donation with the understanding that the building would be used for the city’s and resident’s needs, and the originally plans for the building were not executed. It is unclear the reasons behind the lack of maintenance of the building, but it is clear that a building that was once adorned by the Rosenbushes is now fragile and in need of much rejuvenation.

The decision by the building committee should be made with much reflection, but the outcome should be to do the right thing. This time the right thing is to return the building to family that cared enough for the city and its residents to donate their legacy.