The six lots are on the northwest corner of the intersection of Wyona Ave. and Clancy St., which the city acquired through a condemnation process, according to city documents.
State law requires that any city property to be sold or leased must be appraised. According to the Sept. 25 city commission packet, the property was appraised Aug. 15 by Eric Van Pelt. The appraised value and sales price are the same, $26,000. State law allows municipalities to sell real property under the appraised value, if a written explanation is given. No such explanation seems to be required.
However, the appraisal was not included in the packet, therefore it is unknown if the land was evaluated as having access to the hot springs, for which Truth or Consequences is famous.
The city has three days or more to fulfill the Sierra County Sun’s Inspection of Public Records request, perhaps too late for the meeting.
Public comment at the meeting is not allowed. The City Commission recently passed a policy restricting public comment to the first meeting of the month. The City Commission will therefore decide to sell or not with no public input.
State law gives the public an opportunity to re-address the sale, if it so chooses. The law requires that any property sold or leased with a value over $25,000 must be approved by ordinance. The city agenda item is an ordinance. Residents may put the question of a sale to referendum election by submitting a petition (with the required percentage of electors signing it) within 30 days after the ordinance is passed.
The land is to be sold to husband-and-wife Claudea and Kevin DePalma, who approached the city with an offer, according to city documents. They are to pay the closing costs. It will be conveyed by quit-claim deed with no warranties.
State law also requires the city to state why it is selling the property. “The city does not need it,” is the reason stated.
The City Commission meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 25, 9 a.m., at 405 W. 3rd St., City Commission Chambers.