Published On: Thu, May 22nd, 2014

Laurel City Council considers selling off some land

LAUREL —  Council members discussed options at their meeting involved in selling Lot 11, Block Four, Manton’s Addition.

A market analysis was completed on the lot after the city was approached by an individual about purchasing property, according to City Attorney Keelan Holloway.

“The city had approved the sale of the lot on Fourth Street which is across from the football field. A market analysis was done — comps were looked at. An amount for the fair market value was arrived at,” Holloway said.

Contact was made with the interested party, but they are no longer interested in the property.

Board members discussed whether to move ahead with selling the property through a bidding process. They considered the cost of advertising and research that would need to be done. They also talked about adding paving to the property and then selling the property. The property is currently zoned as R-2, which would allow for multiple housing units, although the Planning Commission could make a zoning change to R-1.

Luke Virgil, Economic Development Coordinator, encouraged board members to put the property up for sale.

“It would be a good opportunity for the city if the property is sold. It would also be an opportunity for a family to have the lot and build a home. The property would be on the tax roll and the city would gain from the property taxes that would be paid,” Virgil said. “Even with the costs involved in selling the property the city would see a return over time.”

Council members tabled taking any action until the Planning Commission makes a decision on the zoning.

City Council members were also asked to help secure a scoreboard for the baseball field.

The scoreboard at the baseball field is not working and needs to be replaced.

A request for help in paying for a new scoreboard was made by the Laurel Recreation Board.

Bruce Haisch talked to Council members about purchasing the scoreboard.

Haisch had checked on prices and a wireless scoreboard could be purchased for approximately $3,500.

“A wireless model is in stock. It would not have to be ordered.” Haisch said. “I have talked to people about donations. A couple of people have already offered to make donations. Fundraisers will also be held.”

Haisch asked if the city would be willing to pay the remaining amount.

Council members agreed to pay a portion of the cost if the full amount needed is not raised through fundraisers and donations.

Board members were also given an update on the need to purchase a basket truck and funding for a rehab project on one of the city wells.

Virgil told the Council he had attended a training session hosted by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. The training was on Location One Information System (LOIS), which is an online database for sites and buildings for sale or available for lease.

The LOIS service is free for the city, Virgil said. The City will have several opportunities to utilize LOIS.

“We have a couple of vacant buildings in town and their owners have expressed interest in advertising them as being for sale or for lease through LOIS,” Virgil said.

The service could also be used for the sale of Lot 10, Northwest Industrial Park which is in the possession of the CRA (Community Redevelopment Authority).

Plans continue to be put in place for food, overnight lodging and entertainment for BRAN (Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska) which includes 600 bicyclists along with 150 to 200 people in support teams.

The BRAN riders will be coming in to Laurel on June 12.

“We are looking for ping-pong tables to use for BRAN. They would be set up on the stage in the old gym at the school. We are trying to find things for the riders to do,” Virgil said. “We are looking at offering Wi-Fi service for the riders and want to find a place of safety in case of a storm.”

Mason Tins opened on April 22. The owners now have their inventory built up and will be offering a full menu.

Pick up this week’s issue of the Laurel Advocate to read more!