OSKALOOSA – City Council members are hoping to bring back life to the property located at 204 N. C St., but it may come at a price.
The lot was purchased for $59,500 in May 2013 as part of the A Avenue property acquisition program. Today Cork and Bottle liquor store, which neighbors the property, is hoping to purchase it for a much lower price.
“We bought the property, demolished the house that was there, which we found had a little nest of asbestos. Now we have the liquor store owner asking us if he can buy it and turn it into a parking lot for the business,” explained Mayor Dave Krutzfeldt. “What’s of interest to the council is that after we buying the property and demolishing the home, we’ve got a total of $74,500 in it and the offer coming in is for $30,000.”
The appraised value for the vacant lot is $35,000, but Krutzfeldt said the small size of the property might mean few future options.
“We now have to make the decision if we want to accept that price and get it back on the tax rolls as a concrete-covered parking lot or if we want to instead hold out and do something different,” he said.
If council members decide to hold onto the property, Krutzfeldt explained they may have to wait some time to find a business small enough to take advantage of the space.
“We could keep it for someone who was interested in building a business, but it would have to be a very small business by the time you figure in parking,” said the mayor. “So the highest best use for the property may be as a parking lot for the liquor store.”
During a meeting last week, council members went into a general agreement to sell the property. Before it is sold, negotiations must be made regarding the purchase price and the standards of the property.
This week, the council will come together to discuss the Local Option Sales Tax and funding the YMCA/early childhood project.
“I’m wanting council members to say for sure that we are in or we are out on the notion of the Local Option Sales Tax being used for this project,” said Krutzfeldt. “Everyone’s got their hands on [the money] — the county, city and school —and we have to recognize that it will hamper other projects in the future.”
The city currently uses the $1 million per year that would go to the project for infrastructure improvements with a special focus on roadway enhancements.
Story provided by Danielle Lunsford