Trustee Wayne Blumrick created a conversation at yesterday evening’s meeting of the board, questioning the right path for a vacant lot at 31 Main Street owned by the local government.
Firstly, he inquired upon a resolution where the property is mentioned, “Whatever happened to the proposition from a citizen on the property at 31 Main Street? It seems like we never discussed a bid or anything.”
Rebecca Schweigert, Village Clerk for Middleport, pointed out, “Yes you did, you turned it down.” She added, “He’s never submitted an official additional one.”
Blumrick responded, “He (the bidder) told me he did.”
Brian Seaman, Middleport’s Village Attorney, stated, “When he (the bidder) was here last, it was with a question about deadlines and when he’s going to do it. That kind of stuff.”
Shifting, Blumrick replied, “My only objection to the whole situation is the buyback laws. Only because – if you recall from the letter that I sent – only because that property was an original business property first. We’re just giving it back to a business.” He added, “For the amount of money it is, I don’t understand why we need to have that clause in there?”
EDITOR’S NOTE: (The buyback laws/clauses in question would mandate a private owner be responsible for developing the property into something better than it was during its time as a village property.)
Seaman responded, “His bid sidestepped a bunch of the requirements we had.” He added, “My understanding is that this board was clear on selling this property with it being tied for some use. As opposed to being sold to be used as his (the bidder’s) private parking lot.
Trsutee Blumrick responded, “Even if he uses it as a (private) parking lot, we’re not paying for it, or we’re not owning that vacant property.” He added, “Can it be used for his private parking lot, or are we taking away something from village residents as far as using that lot as a parking lot for them?”
Answering his own question, Blumrick stated that you cannot park there without being double parked. So technically, it has no use anyways. The only way it could be legally used as a parking lot, according to Blumrick, is if the bidder purchased the property, as the bidder’s own property shares a border with 31 Main Street.
Schweigert, making an observation, noted, “Isn’t that clause part of the state law? You have to give a plan, and what you’re going to do with it?”
Seaman answered, “I don’t think it’s a requirement of a law to have it in there. There are requirements in the law that the village must maximize the benefit of their property. We wanted to make sure that we are not just selling someone a property at a miniscule price that belongs to the village residents for someone to just do nothing with.”
According to the board, this property is currently appraised at $3,500. The offer, which took place “two to three years ago,” was for an unknown sum of money, but was “much lower than the appraised amount.”