Hillsboro council rejects local offer for Heights lot

?Offer to buy asks too much of the city.

The Hillsboro City Council made the unusual decision during a Dec. 23 special meeting to decline a sales option agreement regarding the purchase of a lot in the city-owned Hills?boro Heights addition.

Craig Dodd, owner of Chisholm Trail Outfitters, had submitted the agreement through Clint Seibel, the city?s economic development director, to purchase Lot 3, Block 3, which is the only unsold lot between Dodd?s business and Reimer Classics to the east.

Under the proposed agreement, Dodd would have 24 months from the signing of the agreement to purchase Lot 3 for the sum of $6,750.

The agreement also would allow Dodd to use the lot as ?a display area for portable buildings and other activities not requiring a permanent building.?

It also stipulated that in the event a third party approached the city with a bona fide offer to purchase the lot during the 24-month period, Dodd would have 30 days to buy the lot or to relinquish it.

If no third-party offer surfaced, Dodd would have the option to negotiate an extension of the 24-month option.

Dodd had submitted a deposit of $500 for the option to purchase the property.

City Administrator Larry Paine said, ?What I expect out of this property is…he?s going to want to own this for display purposes, and the way I understand it, he?s not intending to build a building on that lot.?

Councilor Shelby Dirks noted that Dodd?s $500 deposit over 24 months would be equivalent to a monthly rent of $20.83.

?I think if he wants a piece of property where he wants to display products, he should buy it or pay a monthly rent,? he said.

Councilor Bob Watson added, ?We?re sort of setting a precedent that you can tie up a lot for two years?and use it for two years?for $500. I don?t expect that anybody else is probably going to do anything with that lot, but to some extent we tie it up.?

Mayor Delores Dalke agreed, and pointed out that the city still would be responsible to pay the taxes on the property while the option continued.

?I think $20.83 is pretty cheap for a property he apparently needs,? Dalke said. ?I?ve never heard of anything being leased at that price, so I cannot be in favor of this.?

The council briefly considered making a counter proposal that would include a monthly rent of $100 and property taxes.

Asked about the impact of a third-party offer to purchase the lot during the 24-month period, City Attorney Josh Boehm said Dodd would pay the city?s original asking price?not the third-party offer?if he chose to exercise his option.

?If he didn?t want the third party to buy it?even if they offered $20,000?he?d get it for $6,750 if he wanted it,? Boehm said.

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