Casper City Council Honors Cops, Sells One City-owned Property
Casper City Council reluctantly agreed to sell a former fire station for about 79 percent of its appraised value at its meeting Tuesday.
But seven of the nine council members stomped on the proposed sale of another city property for 41 percent of its appraised value even though that was the only legitimate bid.
Before the debates over the property sales, Mayor Kenyne Humphrey read a letter from Glenrock Police Chief Tim Hurd who thanked the Casper Police Department for its assistance Saturday night in the car chase starting in Glenrock that ended in an armed standoff on F Street in Casper. The standoff ended about 2:30 a.m. Sunday with no injuries and the arrest of Christopher Eads. Charges have not been filed yet in Natrona County in this case.
The officers received a standing ovation for their work.
Council then returned to the more mundane business of running the city It approved on second reading a change to the alcohol ordinance about dispensing rooms, and set June 20 for the vote on the 2017-2018 city budget.
Then came the proposed property sales.
Council member Charlie Powell said the bidding process for the properties was fair, and it was important to put these properties on the tax rolls again even if the bids didn't rise to the appraised values.
But Jesse Morgan disagreed, saying the city should get as much for them as it can, especially because the economic downturn has resulted in a tight budget requiring the use of $5 million of the city's reserves.
Dallas Laird raised the question whether the city did and whether the city should find another appraiser.
Some of those issues were raised April 17, when council approved the sale of the old Fire Station No. 6 in Paradise Valley with an appraised value of $230,000, and a lot at 777 Bernardine Street with an appraised value of $145,000.
Council rejected bids for 334 Lark and the Wolf Creek Cemetery properties and agreed to put them back on the market.
Tuesday, council voted 6-3 to sell the old fire station for $182,000 to Z Holdings. Laird, Morgan and Amanda Huckabay voted against the sale.
The Bernardine Street property was a different deal. The high bid was $70,000, but the person who wanted to buy it didn't provide his driver's license as required by the application, so a $60,000 bid was the only one that qualified.
Shawn Johnson said he could support selling the fire station at 79 percent of appraised value, but 40 percent for the Bernardine Street property was way out of line.
Council defeated that proposal on a 7-2 vote, with only Chris Walsh and Powell favoring it.
It then voted to reject all bids on the Bernardine Street property and again putting it up for sale.