LAYTON -- City leaders have agreed to buy back property near Layton High School that was sold to the Roman Catholic Church in 1968 to build a structure for religious education.
In action taken Thursday, the city council voted unanimously to exercise a buy-back option on property at 448 North Constitution Way next to the city's Common Park and located just to the north of the seminary building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The purchase price for the land and building is $2,500.
The agreement is between the city and Bishop John C. Wester of the Salt Lake City Diocese.
Gary Crane, city attorney, said the original agreement with the church was that the city could potentially buy back the land if the church no longer used the property for religious education.
Officials from the Diocese approached the city several months ago about the potential repurchase offer. The church paid the city $2,500 for the land in 1968, and so the city was able to buy back the property, including the building, for the same price.
"It seems like a no-brainer," Councilman Scott Flitton said of the option to repurchase the property.
City Manager Alex Jensen said the building on the property is dated, but in good shape structurally. He said the boiler in the building works, but is old.
Even though a specific use for the building hasn't been identified, Jensen thinks the added building could potentially be used for hunter safety classes or coaches' training.
Flitton suggested city leaders may want to talk to the LDS Church about adding the land to its property.
Councilwoman Joyce Brown was most concerned about the immediate impact on a holiday tradition for the area. A creche has typically been placed on the property as part of a Christmas set up for the park. She said that won't be allowed on city-owned property and wondered if someone shouldn't approach the LDS Church about relocating the manger scene to the seminary property next door.