Land purchase is put to rest by council
Land was discussed more than once at Monday's Baldwin City Council meeting.
The city council made decisions on 160 acres of land southwest of Baldwin City belonging to Jim Faulkner, as well a section of land north of Baldwin City High School belonging to Michael C. Green.
In a 3-2 vote, with council members Ted Brecheisen and Marilyn Pearse voting against, the city council voted to release Baldwin from any obligation to buy Faulkner's 160 acres.
Baldwin originally had a two-year option to buy the acreage. The city paid $25,000 in August with the option to buy the land and could renew it with an additional $25,000 the second year.
Plans for a possible recreation complex and business park had been discussed for the land, but was no longer a feasible option.
Brecheisen said he didn't want to let the land go without discussing it further.
"I hate to see us drop it dead in the water because the opportunity to purchase that type of land at that price will never happen again," he said.
Even though the land isn't going to be used for its original intent, Pearse said she thought the city could still use it in the future.
"I think we're going to need property down the road," she said. "I know it's a big piece and maybe not the best location, but it's a good piece of land and already adjacent to Baldwin."
Council member George McCrary said he didn't think the city needed to buy land that hadn't been designated for anything.
"I wouldn't consider that wise spending to buy that piece of property without an intent, without a plan," McCrary said. "I think we have a lot of issues to address with land we already have."
The city council voted 3-2, with council members Ken Wagner and McCrary voting against, to deny the de-annexation of 22.37 acres of land belonging to Green.
Green wanted the section of land, located north of BHS, east of Douglas County Road 1055 and south of Signal Oak Estates, de-annexed from Baldwin so he wouldn't be affected by the city's building moratorium.
At a later point in time, Green wanted the property to be re-annexed and become part of the city again.
The three new houses that would be built on the acreage would have septic systems installed, Green said, that would be hooked up to the city's sewer system at a later date.
He said he would also like to have Baldwin provide the water and electricity to the houses.
Brecheisen told Green he didn't really want the land de-annexed from the city only to be re-annexed a short time later.
"You come to us now and want us to jump," he said, "and then you'll come to us and want us to jump and let you back into the city."
Wagner said he voted against the motion because he wanted the city council to take some more time in its decision.
"It's prudent for this city council to take this under advisement," he said. "I think we need to table this motion and come back to it."
Council member Todd Cohen said he was against the de-annexation because of what it would do to the section of land.
"If you did de-annex, you would create an island," he said.
The city council also discussed the distribution of the leftover bricks from the Sixth Street construction.
Baldwin will have approximately 294,000 bricks when the construction project is complete. The city plans to keep some for repairs on other brick streets, but about 200,000 will be leftover.
The city council voted 4-1, with Cohen voting against, to sell 50,000 bricks at $1 a piece to the public. Proceeds from the brick sales will go for playground equipment improvement at the Baldwin City Swimming Pool area.
Cohen said he didn't want to see the city sell the bricks until all the options had been looked at. He said there could be future city projects that could use the bricks.
"I think we have to consider this as a community asset," he said. "The bricks are valuable. You're not going to get those again. Once they're gone, they're gone.
"I hate to just liquidate them because we have cash in our eyes," Cohen said.
In other business the city council:
approved the vacation of Fremont Street from 10th Street to Tauy Creek.
approved a $500 contribution to the Citizens for Baldwin City for the July, 4 2001 fireworks display.
approved Ordinance 1061 amending Chapter XVI of the City Code establishing standards for communication towers.