By Ron Leir
Nudged by the state to shed any excess public properties, this town several months ago announced plans to sell off several vacant lots on the east side for ready cash – money it needs to help balance its budget.
In a resolution adopted May 3, the mayor and Town Council declared that the five lots at 4-8 and 12-14 Franklin Ave. and two at 15-17 Kingsland Ave. are “not needed for public purposes, and due to the loss of state aid, and in order to minimize the layoff of town personnel, it is necessary for the Town to sell this surplus property.”
If the lots were auctioned off, the town would look to get $180,000 as a “minimum bid price” on each lot except for 8 Franklin Ave., for which it’s asking $160,000.
But since then, town officials have had second thoughts – particularly after some Third Ward residents submitted a letter of protest to Mayor Ray McDonough and members of the council.