City council considers new procedures for purchasing city-owned property

May. 09, 2014 @ 10:37 PM

The Henderson City Council could decide to amend its procedures for purchasing city-owned property at its meeting Monday.

The possible changes come after the council received a bid for the Savings and Loan Bank Building from Kenneth G. Stevenson, of Prestigious Housing Inc., who owes significant back taxes to the city.

Prestigious Housing Inc. made an offer to the city council, which board members planned to discuss at their April 28 meeting.

But information about Stevenson’s unpaid taxes prompted the council to table their discussion.

On the May 7 land planning committee meeting, City Attorney John Zollicoffer Jr. proposed a procedure to purchase city-owned property that specifically includes conditions regarding taxes being paid in full on all other properties owned by the potential buyer.

One section of the proposed procedure drafted by Zollicoffer allows the city to refuse bids from those that owe taxes on any property within the city.

“At this point, we don’t have a policy to say that you shouldn’t make a policy decision based on whether someone owes us back taxes,” said City Manager Ray Griffin.

The committee voted unanimously to bring the procedure before the full council Monday for approval.

The motion also included keeping the Prestigious Housing Inc. bid on the table to be reconsidered by the land planning committee after this meeting and for the committee to bring its recommendation back to council at the June 9 meeting regarding the bid.

“What this sequence does is it slows the process down so that you can continue to keep it on the table while you decide if you want to approve this policy,” Griffin said. “And if the council does approve it, then the committee can come back and review the policy vis-à-vis the offer, and say, ‘this is compliant with our policy,’ or ‘this it is not.’ And if it is not compliant, we can recommend that it be not accepted.”

Contact the writer atsmansur@hendersondispatch.com.