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City takes downtown property off market

City takes downtown property off market

Aug 30, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer

The former Daisy Cleaners lot was put up for sale June 26.

Riverton City Council members voted Aug. 21 to take the former Daisy Cleaners property at 422 E. Main St. off the market.

City administrator Steven Weaver said no one has shown any interest in purchasing the property since it was put on the market June 26.

"Staff's recommendation is since it has been for sale for two months, council members need to vote to take it off the market," Weaver said. "Then we can figure out what to do with it in the future."

Council members voted Feb. 24 to put the parcel of land up for sale after demolishing the building that was deemed an eyesore.

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality said there were problems with the property, which had leaked fuel leftover from a gasoline station that had occupied the area.

The real estate agent for the property, Bryce Hunter of Home Source Realty, advised city staff that the future buyer could possibly have some liability issues for the contamination.

The asking price for the lot was $90,000, and Weaver said interested buyers might lose interest once they learned of the potential liability issues.

Weaver said the District 25 Recreation Board had expressed interest in giving money to help build a park on the corner lot.

Councilman Eric Heiser said the recreation board would be meeting next month to discuss whether or not they would put any money toward the property.

"As of right now there has been no formal vote by the board," Heiser said. "The idea was brought forth by a member who kept driving by the property and thought it should be made into a park."

Councilwoman Diana Mahoney said she wanted to clarify that the District 25 Recreation Board had never said they wanted to own the property.

"They have money set back and would be willing to donate, but they never once said anything about ownership," Mahoney said. "They merely offered some money."

Councilman Richard Gard said he was the only person who previously voted against the city purchasing the property and thought the city needed to find a way to relinquish ownership.

"We will never get $90,000 for that property, and whoever told us that is blowing smoke up our skirt," Gard said. "I am tickled the building is down, because that building was an eyesore for many years. I have some heartache that we give it 60 whole days to sell. I have lived in Riverton for a long time, and it takes a lot longer than 60 days to sell anything."

Gard suggested turning the current lot into a parking lot and sell spaces for people wanting to park in the area.

"If you look at the current lot, it is covered with vehicles," Gard said. "If no one wants to buy it, there are ways to revenue. We will never get rid of the line of ownership. We are in it now."

Councilman Todd Smith said he agreed with Gard and was concerned that the property had only been on the market for 60 days.

"I have heard from one person who suggested the city doesn't spend another dime on the property and drop the price a thousand dollars each week until it sells," Smith said. "That would get it back into the private sector."

Mayor Ron Warpness said he thought having a park downtown would add to the beautification and revitalization of Main Street.

"I think you have to invest in your community if you expect your businesses on Main Street to grow or have people want to move here," Warpness said.

Smith and Gard voted against taking the property off the market while the rest of the council voted in favor.

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