After the city council approved an ordinance to go forward with purchasing the historic rock barn at last week's council meeting, the Fulton Historic Preservation Commission agreed to begin looking into ideas for the barn's use.
Mayor LeRoy Benton said the "ball was back in the state's court" in the purchasing process of the barn and approximately 12 to 14 acres on which it sits as the city now awaited the state to draft a final purchase agreement, which the council approved at a budgeted $18,000. The Fulton Heritage Trust will cover half of the cost.
The barn was built in the late 1800s to house the then-self-sufficient Fulton State Hospital's farming operations. Now serving no clear purpose to the state, the barn has sat disused for years before the city moved to purchase the building for preservation and reuse at the urging of the commission.
Benton told the commission that he had an "interest in how to proceed at this point."
"It's about 14 acres and based on the budget, it'll be a long time before the city has the funds to put at that," Benton said. "I'm looking for suggestions on how to reach out to the community and find folks who have the pockets to help find a solution."
The historic preservation commission has had several potential ideas for how to use the barn, but member Dale Lewis moved that they form an exploratory committee to "become a collection point of ideas for uses and funding for preservation" of the historic barn.