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Springfield council gets offer for one acre
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The Springfield City Council discussed the possibility of selling one acre of land from the sprayfield site on Long Bridge Road.

The discussion came from a request by the adjoining property owner, Miles Bunch, to purchase the land to build a house.

City Manager Brett Bennett said he had not spoken with the property owner directly, but had been informed of the request to purchase the land.

“I talked with [City Attorney] Charlie Barrow today, and he said it’s got to be sold by auction or sealed bids just like any other property the city has,” Bennett said. “In the past with the lanes behind some of these buildings, there was a specific exception for streets and lanes that the city wanted to sell. They could sell it to the adjacent property owner without having to do a sealed bid or auction. Any other property, just like if we had a truck we wanted to sell, we would have to declare surplus and put it out to bid.”

Mayor Barton Alderman said the city would first have to declare the land surplus.

Councilman Kenny Usher asked what the current plans for the land in regards to the sprayfield are.

“It’s next door to the piece of property I own now,” Bunch said. “What we would like to know is if y’all would sell it to us, and how we go about doing it.”

Bennett said it would have to be bid out or auctioned.

Councilman Butch Kieffer asked Bennett the difference between what the council does with a street as city property and this piece of property.

“Because there is a specific exemption in the codes that allows you to sell city streets and lanes to an adjacent property owner,” Bennett said. “All other property has to be done by sealed bid or auction.”

Councilman Max Neidlinger said he didn’t see the difference. Bennett said it is state code that requires this course of action.

Bennett said the plans are not set in “concrete,” but they are an idea of what will be on the property.

Bunch asked the council to let them know what to do, and they would go from there.

Bennett said the engineers should be consulted before determining if the city would sell the land to make sure it would not cause any problems.

Alderman said the property would have to be surveyed, declared surplus and then advertised for bid or auction.

Bunch said he didn’t think anyone else would want the property.

“Our bid right now is whatever it cost the city, we’re willing to pay that,” Bunch said.

Alderman said the city would be working to see about selling the land, and will keep Bunch informed on the progress.

The council also appointed Jeff Northway to the Planning and Zoning Board to fill the seat open because of the resignation of Stephanie Weitman.