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City buys, now wants to sell property

City to put downtown property up for sale

Mar 2, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer

The Riverton City Council voted to put the former Daisy Cleaners property up for sale after demolishing the building and requiring the new owner to bring the property up to city code within six months of purchase. The City of Riverton acquired the property recently at 420 E. Main St. for potential development.

Mayor Ron Warpness and the city council explored various options for development or disposal of the property and brought the discussion back to the council for consideration during the city council meeting Feb. 24.

City staff considered selling the property to other parties for development, demolishing the existing building and making it into a gravel or paved parking lot, developing it as parking with restroom facilities, developing it as a landscaped park, a park with restroom facilities or an enhanced park with a restroom and shelter/community event facilities.

Public services director Bill Urbigkit asked the council to consider revitalizing the property.

"I have prepared a lot of information to try to give you, and the city could spend between $50,000 and $300,000 and really your imagination would be the only limiting factor," Urbigkit said. "City staff is just needing to know what the council would feel is the best direction to take and a commitment that we are trying to turn it into a nicer part of Riverton."

Councilman Todd Smith said he was not sure if anyone in the community was aware of the council's desire to sell the property and suggested the council put the property up for sale to see if a buyer would be interested.

"Our original goal was to get rid of any eyesore, and I would like to make a motion to offer the property to a potential buyer and give them six months to bring it up to city code," Smith said.

Councilman Richard Gard said he wanted to amend the motion to say that the current building be demolished before selling it to a potential buyer.

"I think we purchased the property because it was an eyesore and I am sitting here looking at an estimated cost of $27,000 for removal," Gard said. "Has any thought been given to having the Set Free Church come take down the property, which would minimize costs that we currently are not budgeted for? The modular bathroom idea is not on my concept of a great idea, and I would recommend we demolish the building, see if someone wants to buy it, and give the buyer six months to bring it up to city code."

Warpness said he wanted to make the property something the community could be proud of.

"I think it is a great opportunity to turn the property into something useful, and I certainly was not interested in negotiating for over a year in trying to gain possession of that building so that we could turn around and sell it for the same price as we paid for it," Warpness said. "That was certainly not my goal, but that is strictly one man's opinion. In the words of the former Mayor (Bill) Eichler, who passed away earlier this week, 'Whatever is the will of the council.'"

Concept sketches by Robert Martinez were displayed at the council meeting. They showed ideas for turning the property into a park with bathrooms and parking.

The council seconded Gard's motion to demolish the building and sell the property. Warpness voted against the proposed amendment.

Anyone interested in purchasing the property can contact Bryce Hunter with Home Source Reality at 856-4663.

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