Merrillville auction draws few bidders

2013-11-30T19:00:00Z Merrillville auction draws few biddersChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
November 30, 2013 7:00 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | The town's auction of surplus property didn't elicit the results Merrillville officials were seeking.

Town Manager Bruce Spires said two of the five properties available at last week's auction received bids.

The Hendricks Parks property at 3694 W. 80th Lane received a bid of $30,000. The fair market value listed for the property is $178,500.

A bid of $5,000 was offered for park property at 7460 Wilson Place, which has a fair market value listed at $18,000.

Clerk-Treasurer Eugene Guernsey said the fair market values listed with each property could have "scared people off."

The Town Council decided in September to sell surplus town-owned land through the auction.

At that time, Town Attorney John Bushemi said there were two appraisals for each parcel that could be sold, and state law requires the town to sell the properties at no less than 90 percent of the average of the two appraised values.

Although both bids came in well below that mark, Merrillville still has the option to accept the bids.

That would require additional approval from the Town Council. Merrillville also would need to publish legal notices indicating it intends to sell the land for less than 90 percent of the appraised values.

Guernsey said town leaders will discuss how it will proceed with the matter with the bids coming in "way under" the fair market value.

Properties that didn't receive bids are at 110 W. 86th Ave., 1016 W. 61st Ave., and 7447 Hendricks St.

Spires said Merrillville is planning to have another auction of town-owned property along Broadway. It's possible the properties that didn't sell also could be included in that auction, he said.

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