The City of Estelline received a restraining order today to hault all city related business. The cuurent city hall was damaged about a year ago by a tornado and city workers have been temporarily housed in a trailer ever since. Mayor James Collins says the city is looking to purchase another building because they need more space.
"We don't have enough room to accommodate the people we have working. There's not enough office the way it's situated and arranged. "
But 60 percent of voters signed a petition to stop the purchase because they say the city can't afford a new building.
"We asked the city council to accept bids on the old building. Compare the cost of what it would be to restore the old building vs. What it would cost to purchase an entirely separate property." said resident Rene Miller.
Miller says that petition was ignored by the council. She also says there is a conflict of interest because the owner of J's, the building the council wants to purchase are also on the city council, but the mayor says they are not involved in the process.
"At this time the owner of Jay's Liquor they have signed an affidavit saying they won't be involved in anyway with the decision of purchasing or not purchasing the building"
Citizens argue that's not enough, because three other members including the mayor have a conflict of interest and they have not been forthcoming with information.
"I don't know what they discussed in the executive session because we were excluded from that. And that's the way it's been every time we've talked about the purchase of this building. So we don't even know the price." Miller continues.
The law officers of Lynch & West are respresenting the citizens. They say the restraining order is valid for 14 days. They say during that time, the expect to see a city charter to make sure that council members are actin gin accordance with the law.