Knox Board of Works Determines Five City-Owned Properties to be Surplus

Knox Board of Works members recently considered whether to determine particular properties within the city to be surplus.

When members met for their September meeting, three properties that had been cleared through the blight elimination program and another two that were cleared by the City were listed on the agenda.

The properties that were included in the blight elimination program were 304 N. Main Street, 354 Water Street, and 303 E. John Street while the other two are situated at 202 N. Pearl Street and 108 N. Allen Drive.

It was noted that since the properties were cleared of the structures on them, City crews have been maintaining the premises.

City Attorney Autumn Ferch informed the board members what next steps will have to be taken to address the city-owned pieces of land.

Ferch shared, “In order for these properties to be sold the Board needs to determine, if they wish, that this is a surplus of property and how to dispose of that property.”

She said added that they have three different options when it comes to what can be done after the properties are determined to be surplus.  

She explained, “One is that the highest and best use of that tract is to sell it to an abutting landowner, second is that the cost to the public of maintaining the tract equals or exceeds the estimated fair market value or it is economically unjustifiable to sell the tract under other sections.”

After some discussion, members cast a unanimous vote to declare all properties as surplus and chose to go with the first option of offering the land to neighboring property owners.

Attorney Ferch indicated that since that option was chosen, officials will now have to move forward with advertising the sale and getting the properties published for sale.