Offer doesn’t satisfy Vance commissioners

Jul. 02, 2013 @ 06:14 PM

The Vance County board of commissioners Monday rejected a tax sale bid on a foreclosed property, approved a rezoning request and filled positions on various boards.

A bid of $2,000 for 601 East Avenue was rejected as too low as commissioners asked for information about the taxes owed and the condition of a residence on the property.

“Our responsibility is to market and get the best return we can,” said Jerry Ayscue, the county manager.

Jonathan Care, attorney for the county, suggested the bid by Early Falsom Properties Inc. might be the only offer. He said that there are “10 to 15 investors out there” who watch for such sales.

Taxes owed on the property total $2,166, according to Portia Brooks, who directs the county tax office. Brooks said attorney’s fees of $2,309 bring to $4,475 the amount the county should recover.

Board chairman Tommy Hester said the bid was rejected because of a lack of information.

“The commissioners feel we should get the taxes and attorney’s fees,” vice chairman Deborah Brown said. “That’s been our position. Somewhere along the line this has not been communicated. There should be a minimum bid. We should not have to lose anything. It should be clearly stated to those who make bids. It’s a matter of drawing a line.”

“We need to look at each case very prudently,” said commissioner Gordon Wilder.

Wilder said he’s look at foreclosures more closely with an eye toward how each should be marketed.

Sale of the property will be on the board’s August agenda.

In another matter, commissioners approved a request that rezoned three lots in a mobile home park.

The lots at 151 Julia Street have been part of L&L Estates Mobile Home Park and zoned planned manufactured housing community. Property owner JoAnne Tyson Lee requested rezoning to residential medium density.

Jordan McMillen of the planning and development department told commissioners the owner plans to combine and sell the lots as a 1.39-acre parcel. He said all lots in the neighborhood not part of the mobile home park are already zoned residential medium density.

In other business, commissioners reappointed three members to the Vance County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Nancy Wilson will serve another one-year term as chairman, and Henrietta Clark and Daniel Hannon III were reappointed to three-year terms.

The board also reappointed Mary Austell to a three-year term on the Perry Memorial Library board of trustees. Jean Lark and Sandra Cowan were appointed to similar terms to fill vacancies on the library board.

Commissioners reappointed Joe Mahaffey to a one-year term on the airport authority board and Wilder to a two-year term on the Kerr Area Rural Transportation System board.

Sitting as the water district board, commissioners turned over the purchase of water meters to their environmental committee.

The meters could be needed by mid-July for Phase 1A of the county’s water project, according to project manager Robert Bernard, who presented three bids for the meters.

Bernard, of the engineering firm Hobbs Upchurch Associates of Southern Pines, couldn’t answer questions about warranties and quality of the meters, and board members scheduled the committee meeting for Wednesday at 4 p.m., when Bernard said he would have answers. Giving authority to the committee to obligate the water district board expedites a decision on the meters and avoids a called board meeting which would have to be advertised.

The committee members are Hester, Dan Brummitt and Terry Garrison.

The bids for 1,035 meters ranged from $162,126 from Carolina Meter & Supply to $175,961 from Fortiline Waterworks Inc. to $232,053 from Ferguson Waterworks.

Bernard said the total would supply about 900 meters for Phase 1A and leave a small inventory.

Contact the writer at news@hendersondispatch.com.