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County tries again to sell Magnolia property

Maybe the third time will be a charm for Warren County in its attempt to sell a 12-acre parcel of property it owns on Magnolia Road off of U.S. 61 South.

The company put the property up for bid in December 2016 and received no bids. It was advertised for sealed bids again in January, and the county received two bids. However, supervisors rejected both — one for $26,000 and one for $62,500 —deeming them inadequate for the property.

Attorney to the county supervisors, Blake Teller, said the land has been declared surplus and of no use to the county, which paved the way to offer it for sale.

During the county supervisors’ March meeting when it rejected the two bids for the property, Teller said, “One, you could list it with a Realtor, or two, sell it privately by negotiation with a private entity or individual.”

On Monday, the county decided to go the route of trying to sell it directly to a private group or individual by negotiation, rather than the public sealed bid.

County board president Richard George said county officials would reach out to individuals who have expressed an interest in the property.

Teller said those interested in the Magnolia Road property should have their bids in a sealed envelope and to the county board of supervisors by the time its meeting begins on May 1, similar to how the process is handled during public bidding.

Those choosing to bid privately on the property will have 10 days to produce the money for the purchase.

The county acquired the property in the mid-19602 as part of an economic development program to allow F.L. Cappeart to expand his Magnolia Mobile Homes business. The land was later subleased to another person, who then sold their lease interest to someone else. When that individual did not keep the lease up, it terminated the lease and the land returned to the county.

In other business Monday, the supervisors:

• Received a payment of $85,637 from the office of Warren County Circuit Clerk Jan Daigre.

“By statute, after all of the expenses of our office are taken out of the fees paid to us — all employee salaries and the like are met — any money left is returned to the board of supervisors,” Daigre said. That money goes into the county’s general fund.

Last year, the circuit clerk’s office returned about $147,000 to the county’s general fund.

“I’m really proud of that. Last year, we were down an employee and had a volunteer working in the office and really pinched pennies. This year, we are fully staffed. I’m very proud of the money we have been able to return to the county by being fiscally responsible — and as a taxpayer, you should be proud of that, too,” Daigre said.

Before last year, Daigre said, no money had been returned to the county from the circuit clerk’s office.