(Hannibal, Mo)—Although the Hannibal City Council tabled the Resolution approving the sale of the former Murphy Motors property, developer Bill Martin says the delay is due to his legal counsel needing a bit more time for contract review, and he remains optimistic the sale will be approved soon.

Martin and his business partner, Lance Smith plan to transform the property into the Moses Bates Mercantile and Pub.  The centerpiece would be the microbrewery and pub on the first floor, along with a grocery store and architectural furniture store. Upstairs would be a 3-Season bar-restaurant and an interior bar as well as a small conference and special events area.

Martin says he would like to open the pub area of the main floor by summer, although the entire project could take 2-3 years to complete.  He stated some of the parking lot could be utilized for bus parking and other uses complementing tourism and the historic area.

When asked about employment, Martin would not say how many jobs would be created by the business venture.

But there was at least one citizen present who did not agree with the proposed business plan. A man addressed only as "Mr. Burditt" sought and received permission to address the Council. Mr. Burditt went to the podium and stated Hannibal "does not need another bar, and has plenty of restaurants".  Burditt stated he envisioned a Civic Center as  better use for the facility.  When Mayor Hark asked him if he knew anyone who would put up the money, or if Burditt would, the man nodded "yes".  The Mayor stated he would keep that in mind, but since Bill Martin had "jumped through a lot of hoops to get this far", the Mayor favored going with the pending sale.

In other Council business, City Engineer Mark Rees shared the good news that a change order to deduct money from the 2012 Mill and Overlay project  was executed because the final price tag came in over $10,000 lower than the contract amount with Bross Construction.  The City spent around $600,000 on street overlays in 2012.  Some of the major overlays were:  Melgrove Plaza area, Hamlin Heights, Brookside Rd. by Hannibal High, Paris Gravel Road to the western city limits, Bird and Hill Streets near Mark Twain Elementary, and a small portion of Market St.

An Ordinance establishing the rate of pay for a Special Municipal Judge is approved, as well as the following appointments:

Pat Benson is appointed to the Police and Fire Board, George Walley and John McCoy are reappointed to the Airport Advisory Board, and Candace Kleeman appointed to the Tree Board.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 15th.