Keokuk no longer wants to own a downtown building that it never meant to own.
Historic Preservation Commission Chairman Steve Glasgow says he initially contacted the owner of the former Elks Club (601 Blondeau) for one reason: repairing the building.
He says he was surprised when several months after their first conversation, the owner, who lives in California, had deeded the property to the commission.
The acquisition happened without the knowledge of the Keokuk City Council.
Mayor Tom Marion says city code gives the commission the authority to own property, as long as the city council signs off on the acquisition.
Since that did not happen, the panel reached a consensus to proceed with the reversal of the deed.
Marion says there are too many liens on the property, which Glasgow says was not mentioned to him, and it cannot be insured, making the city liable.
He says the city will talk to the property owner to try to see if someone can be found to purchase the building.
Glasgow says since the commission acquired it, he has been working to secure the building, but giant holes in the roof have made that next to impossible.