City likely to ad­ver­tise sale of First Av­enue prop­erty

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Ariél Zangla azangla@free­manon­line.com ArielAtFree­man on Twit­ter

KINGSTON >> The city could so­licit bids for the sale of a prop­erty it owns at 416 First Ave. by ad­ver­tis­ing it in the news­pa­per and on­line.

How to sell the prop­erty was a topic of dis­cus­sion dur­ing a meet­ing of the Com­mon Coun­cil’s Fi­nance and Au­dit Com­mit­tee on Wed­nes­day. The mat­ter be­came a com­mit­tee is­sue af­ter Mayor Steve No­ble ve­toed a pro­posal to sell the prop­erty to a city em­ployee for $15,000. No­ble told the coun­cil he ve­toed the deal be­cause of what he called a “gap in pro­ce­dure,” mean­ing the prop­erty had not been pub­licly mar­keted for sale.

“The con­cern of our of­fice is there has to be a com­pet­i­tive process,” As­sis­tant Cor­po­ra­tion Coun­sel Daniel Garten­stein told the com­mit­tee. He said the com­mit­tee could choose what that process was, so long as it was open to the pub­lic.

Al­der­man An­thony Davis, D-Ward 6, sug­gested the com­mit­tee fol­low a process it has used be­fore by ad­ver­tis­ing the prop­erty for sale, so­lic­it­ing bids and then meet­ing with the bid­ders to dis­cuss their plans for the prop­erty. Af­ter meet­ing with the bid­ders, the com­mit­tee could choose which one to sell to, he said.

Coun­cil Mi­nor­ity Leader Deb­o­rah Brown, R-Ward 9, said that process would put Allen Nace at a dis­ad­van­tage be­cause his of­fer for the prop­erty al­ready has been made pub­lic. Other law­mak­ers said, though, that Nace would have a chance to change his bid and the com­mit­tee would not nec­es­sar­ily choose the high­est bid­der.

The city ac­quired the prop­erty in March due to $26,430.84 in un­paid taxes. Nace of­fered to pay $15,000 for the prop­erty, which is as­sessed at $95,000 but has been van­dal­ized since it was aban­doned about two years ago.

Nace, who owns prop­erty nearby, said he wanted to ren­o­vate the home for his daugh­ter.

Ul­ti­mately, the com­mit­tee agreed to ad­ver­tise the prop­erty in the news­pa­per and on the city web­site and so­licit bids for a pe­riod of two weeks af­ter the ad is pub­lished. The mat­ter still must be voted on by the full coun­cil be­fore the prop­erty can be ad­ver­tised. The coun­cil meets next on Nov. 1.

The com­mit­tee also dis­cussed set­ting out a con­sis­tent pol­icy for sell­ing city­owned prop­erty.

“We’re all over the map even when we have rules on our books,” said Alder­woman Maryann Mills, D-Ward 7. She said some prop­er­ties had been sold the way the com­mit­tee out­lined for 416 First Ave., while oth­ers have been auc­tioned, and one was sold for $1 to a group that wanted to pre­serve a home.

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