City to accept bids for First Ave. property
KINGSTON >> The Common Council will accept bids for the sale of a property the city owns at 416 First Ave.
The council voted 8-0 this week to advertise the property for sale in the newspaper and on the city’s website, providing prospective bidders two weeks to submit their offers.
Council members said they intend to interview each of the prospective bidders and choose which to offer the property to before voting on the sale. The winning bidder will be required to pay the sale price in full and close on the property within 60 days of the vote. The sale also would be subject to a reverter clause, allowing the city to regain ownership of the property if the new owner fails to meet certain requirements.
As of Thursday, the city’s corporation counsel had not yet advertised the property for sale, meaning a bid due date was not available.
The property became a topic of discussion at a meeting last month of the council’s Finance and Audit Committee 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 committee ultimately chose to 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.
Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, council President James Noble told lawmakers during a caucus that he had no problem with the resolution to solicit bids for the property but that he was a little surprised it had to be done. He said it was the first time the council had to pass such a resolution.
“I thought we could just decide how we wanted to present it, through a realtor or an auction,” said the council leader, who is the mayor’s uncle.
Alderwoman Maryann Mills, D-Ward 7, agreed but also noted information had been received in March regarding properties that had been seized for unpaid taxes. She said there was a five-month window to put a lot of properties up for sale.
The city acquired the First Avenue property in March due to $26,430.84 in unpaid taxes. Allen 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, has said he wanted to renovate the home for his daughter.