Holcomb holds off on selling house





HOLCOMB — Holcomb City Council members are in no hurry to sell a house a previous council purchased nearly seven years ago.

During Wednesday's council meeting, the council decided to put the sale of the house at 207 N. Henderson St. on hold for now, both to provide more time for the current tenant to work on applying for a Rural Development Loan to use to possibly buy the property, and to talk about future city building space needs.

"At what pace do we want to move? If we push forward on selling this property, it's going to push this resident out. I think our financial health doesn't dictate that we need to sell this house," Mayor Gary Newman said.

Newman asked if the council would prefer tabling the issue until the resident determines if they can buy the house.

Council member Scott Homer said the city still should have an appraisal performed to determine what the house is worth, but he agreed the city shouldn't move the resident out.

"I say you give them every opportunity to purchase the place and not put any pressure on them to leave in a hurry," Homer said.

Council member Rob McCallister agreed.

"We're not in a hurry here. We don't have to sell this tomorrow by any means," he said.

The city bought the house in December 2006 for $110,000, intending to possibly use it to help with a space crunch for city offices.

The council had a market analysis performed on the property that recommended listing the house in a range between $99,000 and $110,000. Finney County appraised the property at $128,000.

The ranch-style, 1,541-square-foot house with a two-car attached garage was built in 1967. The condition is listed in the analysis as poor to fair, but no explanation was provided about why, which puzzled council members.

"I don't understand why the market analysis came in the way it did," Newman said. "I would have assumed it would come in a little higher."

Council member Brian Rupp, who toured the house, said it looked dated but appeared fine structurally, especially the outside brick.

"The lot size is huge. The roof looked good. I imagine it's probably closer to the county appraisal," he said.

Council member Greg Cox said none of the current council members were on the council when the house was purchased. He recommended the current council keep in mind their reasons for the purchase.

"The whole issue of space is still there. We all need to think about whether there's anything we can use that property for in the future," Cox said. "I'm pretty sure that council was thinking about available space."

The council indicated it may talk about the house again sometime next year, possibly in conjunction with discussions about overall space needs.

In other business Wednesday, the council:

* Set the dates for the fall cleanup for Sept. 25 through Oct. 7.

* Accepted the bid of $57,420 from B&H Paving for 2013-14 chip seal and crack seal work on various city streets.

* Approved a $3,023 adjustment to the total cost of a project approved in June to install a 500-gallon fuel tank and a 1,000-gallon fuel tank and mechanical pump system to replace an older system. The new project total is $35,023.

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