One councilman not happy with regard to recent vote to purchase land
At the Glasgow City Council meeting on Monday, October 22, 2018 I attended by electronic means as I have a broken leg and the elevator to the second floor council chambers is not working.
Towards the end of the meeting it was decided to go into executive session to discuss the acquisition of property by the City.
In Executive Session it was proposed that we purchase a property owned by the Bale family adjacent to the Glasgow Post Office. It contained a couple or a few acres and the Mayor said it would make a nice City Park. The Mayor said he had seen the appraisal and that the property was valued at $750,000 and that the owners would “let us have it” for only $350,000.
Please bear in mind we were not looking for property for a new park, nor had a new park even been discussed. Please also bear in mind that we had just discussed the possibility of taking on bonded indebtedness in an amount upwards of four million dollars for a water park to replace the City Swimming Pool at American Legion Park. No one that I know of on the council thought we were “in the market” for new real estate prior to the meeting.
I take some of the blame for not asking to see the appraisal. I take some of the blame for not asking who had done the appraisal. Was it done by an independent appraiser or one under the employ of the seller or one of their holdings?
The Property Valuation Administrator has it on the books for $250,000 and another commercial appraiser has said that $250,000 is about what it’s worth. But the real issue here is that we weren’t in the market for more real estate and the suggestion was that we buy it just because it’s for sale.
I leave it to the reader. Couldn’t that money have been spent better elsewhere?
And another, thing: How much will it cost to build a park at that location? I don’t think that was even discussed.
Oh, yes, and the offer of $350,000 had an expiration date, as in act now or lose it. That should have tipped us off to the fact that it wasn’t necessarily a great deal. We should have taken our time and evaluated whether or not we really want a park there, and, how much would it in fact cost? Instead of that, we acted solely on the Mayor’s recommendation and authorized him to buy the property.
The council has been hoodwinked.
We will end this Fiscal Year with another unbalanced budget.
Councilman Jake Dickinson