Committee recommends sale of neighborhood stabilization property for less than appraised value

Posted: Mar. 19, 2013 12:02 pm Updated: Apr. 2, 2013 1:20 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

The Quincy Finance Committee is recommending the City Council approve the sale of a residence at 1009 Lind renovated through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program for $60,000, even though the price is below the appraised value.

Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development, told the committee Monday that the property was valued at $65,000 and has been on the market for nine months.

"It's well within the typical purchase price of a house, within terms of an offer," he said.

The city received a $1.9 million grant from the Illinois Human Service Agency and $200,000 from the federal Housing and Urban Development program in September 2009 to address blight and vacancies in neighborhoods. Eleven units on six properties are either being renovated or built from scratch through the program.

"It's designed to benefit (low- to moderate-income) households," he said.

Because the Lind property is in a historic district, the city had to meet Illinois Historic Preservation Agency requirements. The city spent $140,000 renovating the property.

Alderman Mike Farha, R-4, said it is difficult to approve the sale price considering how much money the city invested in the property.

"I understand it's not all our money," he said. "I understand with all the concepts, but I struggle with this."

Bevelheimer said he also struggled it, but the historic preservation requirements required the property to be restored. Many properties the city originally looked at would have required more investment.

"We reshuffled the deck to try to find more houses that we could do within that $140,000-$160,000 range, because we had some houses that came in so high that we couldn't touch them," he said.

The sale is contingent on the city moving laundry hook-ups from the basement to the first floor.

Bevelheimer said the modifications are expected to cost around $2,000.

Aldermen recommended the sale on a 3-1 vote, with Alderman Paul Havermale, R-3 dissenting.

Havermale said he couldn't support selling the property because he thought it would set a precedent that the city would have to make modifications to other properties it is selling.

"I think we're adding insult to injury when we're saying we're going to sell it less than the appraisal, and then we've got to spend another $2,000 just to make it happen," he said. "I'm sorry, that's their problem. If they don't want to buy it, they can move on somewhere else."