|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Wednesday, 23 March 2011 00:00|
By Mark Lineberger
The Town of Camp Verde is proceeding with a plan to buy 16.76 acres of land off of Industrial Drive for nearly $1.4 million.
The town has been renting the property for years as an equipment yard and asphalt mixing area, and figured an outright purchase of the land would be in the town’s best interests.
The total purchase price was negotiated at $1,390,800, Camp Verde Public Works Director Ron Long said.
The town first leased part of the land in 1998 from Beta Ventures, according to a letter of intent Long sent the owners in January.
“We negotiated a price below what we set as an upper limit,” Long said. “We think we’ve put together a pretty good offer that benefits the town.”
Along with the purchase of the land, the owners are donating an additional 0.76 acres to the town that would otherwise be landlocked by the purchase.
The Town Council voted 5-1 to take the purchase to the next stage at its March 16 meeting; Mayor Bob Burnside voted against the idea. Councilwoman Robin Whatley couldn’t attend the meeting but sent along her approval for the plan.
Long said this property was ideal because it was already in use by the town.
It’s also where the town stores material to keep the roads patched, something important especially with further cuts in road maintenance funding expected.
There also aren’t many other properties the town could use that are in the right setting with the correct zoning. In addition to the land, Long said the property includes three structurally sound buildings that will be usable by the town for years to come, noting any other property would likely cost the town at least twice as much.
Councilwoman Carol German said she had received several phone calls from concerned residents questioning if the town could afford this type of purchase right now.
German said the town was already looking into workable financing options, including possibly selling other land owned by the town to help offset the cost.
“It’s in an ideal location, it’s out of sight, out of view from the roads,” German said. “We don’t have a lot of money; to move all that would cost a fortune.”
German also said the location is ideal since it already has infrastructure in place.
Gaddis Wash runs through the property. Long said as part of the purchase arrangement, the town would have five years to clear out the wash and get it flowing again after years of growth and little maintenance.
The town would be able to perform the work in far less than five years with in-house staff and resources.
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