What’s next for the Perihelion property?

Published 2:19 am Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Opp City Council is expected to declare the old Perihelion Global property surplus and give it to the Opp Utilities Board on Monday night.

The property has been vacant since January 2009 when the city of Opp dissolved its contract with Perihelion Global and all the land and permanent structures were deeded back to the city.

The initial agreement gave Perihelion until Feb. 13, 2009, to build a manufacturing facility, employ 20 people upon completion and employ 100 people within three years.

The company was plagued with declining stock prices and a series of financial issues.

In September 2008, the Star-News reported power to the plant was disconnected and two local companies had placed liens against the company for non-payment.

Then-Opp Mayor H.D. Edgar told the Star-News in 2015 that the property was bought for industrial purposes, but that it was in a no zone area, meaning the property wasn’t zoned for commercial or industrial.

At Thursday night’s meeting, the city council introduced an ordinance declaring the property surplus, and stating that the Utility Board was the rightful owner of the parcel.

The ordinance says that both city entities find the transaction in the best public interest.

Mayor Becky Bracke said Thursday this was just a formality to make sure the property was Utility Board property.

Opp Utilities Board General Manager Stacey Parker said Friday that there is nothing set in stone about what the Utilities Board plans to do with the property.

“There’s still a lot to work through,” he said. “There is someone that wants us to consider doing a lease purchase so they can put a tire/service center there. Very preliminary, so I don’t have a lot of details, yet. It’s just easier to do that sort of thing on the utility side versus the city.”

In 2015, the Opp Saddle Club approached the city about putting the property aside for a club in the future.

Former Mayor John Bartholomew told the saddle club members that it was unclear what the city could do with the property.

The former administration never took action on the property.