County surplus property
The Board of Commissioners also held a public hearing Monday morning to consider the sale of several tracts of county-owned surplus land connected to the recently completed C.R. 17 and Six Span Bridge projects.
According to county attorney Gordon Lord, four properties were advertised for sale as surplus properties. Those properties were:
• 22043 C.R. 38, Goshen;
• 22127 Ind. 119, Goshen;
• 22053 Sunset Lane, Elkhart; and,
• 21833 Ind. 120, Elkhart.
“Each of these came to be owned by the county through road projects,” Lord said. “They ended up being properties needed to do a bridge or road project, and then after the project was done, what was left of the properties became available as surplus.”
In order for the commissioners to rule on a bid Monday, Lord indicated that a bidder would have to submit a bid of at least 90 percent of the appraised value of the land as required by state law. The law does however allow the commissioners to negotiate on a price less than 90 percent of appraisal for 60 days after the initial hearing, he said.
“If the commissioners don’t feel any of the prices are appropriate, even if they’re over that 90 percent threshold, the commissioners can have another hearing or they can actually proceed toward hiring a broker or go through a public auction,” Lord said. “So there is flexibility, and no duty to approve anything today.”
Lord added that all four properties were appraised by an independent appraiser and confirmed by Elkhart County Highway Manager Jeff Taylor. The appraisals for each property are as follows:
• 22043 C.R. 38, Goshen — $65,000;
• 22127 Ind. 119, Goshen — $80,000;
• 22053 Sunset Lane, Elkhart — $150,000; and,
• 21833 Ind. 120, Elkhart — $160,000.
A total of four bids were accepted by the board Monday. Bids submitted included:
• A $100,000 bid by Ronald and Tina Drake for the 21833 Ind. 120 property;
• A $45,500 bid by Emojean D. Abbot for the 22043 C.R. 38 property;
• A $50,000 bid by Frank Lucchese for the 22053 Sunset Lane property; and,
• An $18,000 bid by John Nunemaker for the 22043 C.R. 38 property.
Because none of the bids were at or above the 90 percent assessed value mark, Lord suggested the commissioners accept the bids and send them on to the County Highway Department for review. Lord also suggested that the department set up conversations with all interested parties over the next two weeks in order to see if they can come to an agreement on an acceptable price. The board approved the motion.
In other business, the board:
• Approved an agreement with County Health Officer Daniel A. Nafziger to extend his contract for another four-year term;
• Accepted a bid by Mishawaka-based Gibson-Lewis LLC for $333,000 to construct a new Highway Department truck barn at the intersection of C.R. 38 and C.R. 17. The bid was forwarded on to the Highway Department for review.