The city’s plan to sell a two-story house at 213 E. Division St. and five empty lots took a step forward Monday evening when Lyle Leppke of Leppke Realty and Auction, Inc. in Hillsboro explained the method of sale.
Leppke told council members he would sell all the properties at one auction, preferably at an evening sale shortly before or after July 4. He recommended full payment on the lots the night of the auction and said he planned to have a contract for the house written as a 30-day escrow, giving a new owner time to finalize financing.
The city will pay a standard six percent fee on the house sale and Leppke offered to sell the lots at 10 percent each, up to a maximum dollar amount of $100. The city also will pay advertising charges for the auction.
The city has seven lots to sell, but there are questions about two having possible incorrect street addresses. The remaining five lots are as follows: 709-711 N. Sycamore St., 710 N. Walnut St., 607 N. Locust St., 511 N. Plum St., and 408 N. Locust St. The remaining two are on South Olive Street and will need some research to be certain the assigned addresses are correct.
At one time, the city offered a “Free Lots” program, hoping someone would take one and build a new home on it. The program did not generate much interest and the lots have become a maintenance problem every mowing season.
The house at 213 E. Division was the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church parsonage at one time. More recently, it was owned by an absentee landlord who let it go back to the lending institution. After being on the market for several years, the lending institution donated it to the city in 2014. Council members voted to sell it at auction.
In other business:
- Mayor Larry Larsen was sworn in by City Clerk Stephanie Lago for his new term as mayor.
- The council went into executive session for 15 minutes to review confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of second parties. Remaining in the executive session were Larsen, Lago, and Rick and Vickie Turner. On return to open session, no action was taken.
- Richard Gaito of Nex-Tech Wireless in Hays was present to tell the council his company is expanding its wireless coverage to include the Peabody area. Gaito asked for a building permit to install a concrete pad at Mid-Kansas Coop to hold equipment. He said the company would deliver service in about 60 days.
- Work agreements were approved for Brian McDowell, Preston Hodges, and Erik Barnes. The agreements will cover the men as city employees for the July Fourth celebration.
- Council members approved zoning changes as requested by Kansas Department of Revenue Alcoholic Beverage Control Division for a new liquor license application for Janie Hampton at 113 N. Walnut Street. The zoning change statement is a new requirement of the state. Council members approved the application with the change request.
- A report by Interim Public Works Director Ronnie Harms included an announcement that Kansas Department of Health and Environment representatives will be in Peabody this week to look at the water situation.
- Harms also reported that rain has kept the pool repairs from moving forward as planned, but that they are nearly finished and after four days to cure, water can be added to the pool. The sidewalk for a handicap entry to the pool also is ready to pour as soon as the repair people are finished.
- Police Chief Bruce Burke presented a request from Peabody Main Street Association to have street barricades block off Walnut Street from Central Street just south of the railroad tracks, north to Second Street for an event called “Peabody Sunday Cruise.” The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 24. Classic cars and motorcycles are expected. The council approved the request.
- The mayor appointed council members to standing committees for the coming year. Tom Spencer was appointed to the water committee and to park and swimming pool with Janice Woodruff; Woodruff and Travis Wilson remain on streets and alleys; Wilson and Larsen remain on sanitation; Wilson remains on lights and is joined by Megan Holt; Larsen and Woodruff took the appointments to the fire committee and remain on building; Knapp remained on finance and ordinance and was joined by Holt; Larsen and Holt took economic development; Larsen remained on personnel and was joined by Knapp and Wilson.