LACON – The Lacon City Council voted Monday night to reject the only bid received on a piece of potential development property in the city’s industrial park at the east end of town.
The $15,579 bid by Jeff Pufahl of Lacon on the approximately 2.3 acre parcel was “significantly less” than the value established in a recent appraisal, said Acting Mayor John Wabel. The appraisal has not been made public.
The city obtained the appraisal last fall and went through the somewhat complex proposal of advertising it for bids because an unnamed potential buyer had expressed interest in it, according to city officials.
“He said he wanted to start a business there. That’s why we went through all this,” Wabel explained.
But Monday’s bid deadline came and went without an offer from him, even after Wabel said he called to remind the man.
“I called him and told him the bids were due by 4 o'clock, and he said he was going to get one in, but he never did,” Wabel said. “I will be following up with him. I don’t know what the deal is.”
Pufahl’s bid did not state what he hoped to do with the property, and city officials did not know what his plans might be, Wabel added. Pufahl was not at the meeting and could not immediately be reached on Tuesday.
The property is along 9th Street and just west of the Cochran Collision Center. It’s part of about 26 acres that the city has owned for years in hopes of attracting industrial development but has remained in farmland.
The city has agreed to lease about 20 acres to a solar development company. Construction of that 2-megawatt installation hinges partly on a state lottery that will determine which of the state’s many proposed solar projects will receive renewable energy credits, but it could occupy that land for up to 36 years if built.
“We’re still hoping to get a business out there,” Wabel said. “This is the only corner that’s still available to buy.”
In other business Monday, the council decided to shift its regular meetings from Mondays to Wednesdays beginning in April.
The move will avoid holidays that occur on Mondays and also will allow more time for bills or other paperwork to get to the council before the monthly meetings, officials said.
Next month’s meeting will be at 7 p.m. on March 11, the second Monday of the month as usual, and the council will finalize a new schedule at that time, Wabel said. Most meetings will be on the second Wednesday of the month after that, though there may be some exceptions, he added.
Gary L. Smith can be reached at (800) 516-0389 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Glsmithx.