Editorial

There still are serious questions about city property sale

I am responding to the recent Townbroadcast article, “City committee to negotiate sale of disputed parcel” for a number of reasons:

• The photo location is incorrect, this is the southeast corner of 133rd Street & Reno. The land in question is within the northeast corner of 133rd Street and Reno, north to the wood line and east to the railroad tracks

• The listed asking price through Wisinski Commercial Realty was $52,500 per acre ($2,500 more than cited in the article).

• The realty sign was on the property at the time the offer by Josh Otto and Keith Nickels was presented to the City. Nobody knew the listing had run out with the sign still on the property. Regardless of how many years it sat vacant and trying to sell to established businesses potentially bringing jobs/opportunity/tax base to the city for $1 and 50% tax abatement for 12 years, the value of the land was listed at $52,500 per acre.

• I never offered to buy the property for $20,000 – I said our business pays more than that in property taxes per year.

 • Mr. Frigmanski tried to buy some of the land for expansion to the east for more than $20,000 per acre, and his offer was refused.

• My whole premise in challenging the sale of the property for the ridiculously low price of $20,000 for 25.11 acres ($796 per acre for commercial property!) was asking for tax relief because of the low selling price. Other business owners paid significantly more for city owned and other properties within the area to establish their businesses and are highly taxed.

• The City Council has voted in the affirmative to accept the offer from Otto and Nickels. Why the negotiating committee?  Negotiate what?

• Both Otto and Nickels have provided no development ideas or plans to develop the property.  Once the city signs the sales agreement and funds are exchanged, they are free to do with it what they will.  No promises of development, no plans, nothing.

• Mr. Robert Genther should get the same deal as Otto and Nickels for the city parcel for which he has bid for the same price as what Otto and Nickels received. If the City of Wayland refuses, could this be viewed as favoritism?

• The property in question Otto and Nickels want does have some water on the northern tier of the property. However, it is during springtime and during periods of heavy rain it collects in those areas.  There are no ponds or swamps on the property. The soil structure in that area is heavily clay in composition, so it is not surprising water collects in those areas. The remaining overwhelming acreage is not wetlands.

Bruce Schwartz, Wayland

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