Road commission sells land to local farmerPublished 4:14pm Thursday, December 31, 2009
By NORMA LERNER
A large parcel of land originally purchased for its gravel content was sold last week to a local farmer by the Cass County Road Commission. The parcel of land known as the Sibley property was sold for $4,000 per acre to Ed and Kelly Reed, who plan to use the plot for farming.
The sale of the 100 acres was done during a special meeting called by the commissioners, because time was running out before the buyers withdrew their offer. The commissioners next regular meeting is Thursday, Jan. 7, and by then the offer would have lapsed.
Manager Louis Csokasy told the commissioners that he checked with two attorneys about whether the property should have been advertised and was told that it did not. He did say the proceeds would have to be used for transportation purposes. Vice Chairman Robert Powers said an escrow fund could be set up for the $400,000 to be used for assets such as buildings or equipment.
However, Powers voted not to sell the property in the 3-to-1 vote. Voting in favor of the sale was Cliff Poehlman, Thomas Celie and LeRoy Krempec, board chairman. Powers said the property was purchased for its gravel content and in about 60 years or so it will be needed. Absent from voting was Roger Bowser.
The sale of the property located on Fox Street has been discussed for some time, and Csokasy thought the price was fair, noting that the average price for farm land in the area runs about $3,650 an acre. Csokasy said earlier that it would be feasible to build a salt storage barn with some of the money to mix and store salt and sand. Currently it is done at various locations in the county.
The parcel was larger at one time when it was purchased four years ago for $1 million. About 60 acres and two houses were sold off of the original property a couple of years ago.
The commissioners also approved a 2.7 percent pay increase for 10 non-unionized employees from Jan. 1, 2010 to Jan. 1, 2011.