The deal for the City of Brownwood to sell the former Central Fire Station at Austin and Main is off.

Brownwood City Council members voted Tuesday to terminate the contract with Ruth because the contract to sell the property had expired, and Ruth did not sign an extension agreement approved earlier by the council, City Attorney Pat Chesser said via email.

Council members are returning $5,000 in interest money to Ruth, Chesser said.

At the council’s March 12 meeting, council members approved an amendment extending the deadline to close because of title issues with the property and to allow the property to be surveyed, Chesser said.

In October, council members awarded a $350,100 bid to Ruth for the sale of the former fire station and three adjacent lots. Ruth said then that he intended to lease out the property to tenants who would own and manage a restaurant and a business.

In other business Tuesday, council members:

• Approved a emergency repair of the chiller at the Brownwood Coliseum, which is currently without air conditioning. Staff solicited quotes for the repair and received only one quote, from Heart of Texas Mechanical for $22,646.

The estimated repair time is three to four weeks, which includes the time to order and receive parts. 

Council members had to decide whether to repair the chiller or go out for bids to replace the air conditioning system. 

Two HVAC companies said it was a waste of time to spend money on a 26-year-old unit and refused to provide quotes, council members were told.

Three local HVAC companies estimated the cost of replacing the existing cooling tower at $205,675 to $308,900, and the replacement would take at least eight weeks. With multiple events booked at the Coliseum for the next several weeks, the coliseum can’t be without air conditioning, council members were told.

At a later meeting, council members will look at a proposal for an HVAC engineering quote for replacement options and specifications, it was decided. It is hoped to have a replacement plan and cost before the next budget cycle, so council members can determine if they want to budget to replace it.

• Ratified Brownwood Municipal Development District action in approving an infrastructure project for sidewalk and lighting improvements along Baker Street and Milton Avenue at a maximum cost of $62,000.

With the development of two new businesses along Baker Street, there is a need for improvements to sidewalk and lighting improvements to improve aesthetics and allow better access to the businesses, council members were told.

• Approved a Building Improvement Incentive Grant of $8,140 for 207 Fisk. Danette Rae, owner of the Hen House at 825 Commerce, will relocate the business to Fisk Street.

• Approved a similar grant of $18,292 for 905, 907 and 909 N. Fisk to Stieber Enterprises. The property owners plan to renovate the building to benefit Wilson Cleaners and Honey Bee Natural Foods.

• Continued discussions on the design of a rest room at Trigg Park.

• Continued discussions on possible changes to the city ordinance that regulates the keeping of chickens in city limits.