Spring Lake Park sells McKinley lot

Spring Lake Park City Council has decided to sell one of its four McKinley Street lots.

The council May 20 voted unanimously to sell Lot 1 to Lori and Richard DiVito, Spring Lake Park residents, for $70,000.

Councilmember Bob Nelson was not sure the city should be selling the lot just yet.

The sale proceeds of the four McKinley lots will be used to pay for a park and recreation building and if the city sells the lot for $70,000 it is possible there will not be enough money for the project, which has been discussed for 14 years, he said.

With the economy improving, the city may be able to sell the lots for a higher price in the future, Nelson said.

“I want to get the biggest bang for the buck on the land,” he said.

While selling all four properties at $70,000 each would not be enough to pay for a park and recreation building, the city would be collection taxes on the property, which is currently city-owned and tax exempt, said City Administrator Barb Nelson.

“I think $70,000 is a good price in the present market, but (Councilmember Nelson’s) concerns are valid,” said Assistant City Administrator Dan Buchholtz.

It was the city’s intention to sell the properties when it advertised for bids earlier this year, said Councilmember Larry Raymond.

Initially when the council wanted to go out for bids in December 2012, Administrator Nelson said she did not think the city should sell the lots.

She did not think anyone would be interested in the lots priced at $70,000 because she thought the amount was too high, she said.

But the city has got an offer and she is not sure land values in Spring Lake Park will go any higher, Administrator Nelson said.

“I like that it is residents that want to buy, not a developers that are speculating,” said Mayor Cindy Hansen.

“It is a beautiful lot,” said Lori DiVito.

They are excited to be building in Spring Lake Park, said Richard DiVito.

“If anything, that (would) make me vote ‘yes.’ You hit my soft spot,” said Councilmember Nelson.

Selling the property also has some benefits as it could spark more interest in the remaining lots as it is developed, Buchholtz said.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]