By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

ELKHART – A bid in the amount of $70,000 to David and Geneva Rice of La Port for the former Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) building located at 103 E. Parker St. was awarded by the Elkhart City Council during a regularly scheduled meeting held Tuesday, March 6.

City attorney Blake E. Armstrong was on hand to provide guidance and answer questions as the council considered the bid.

“If the bid is one the council wants to accept and move forward with the sale, three things will need to happen,” explained Armstrong. “One, there needs to be a motion made at the meeting right here to award the bid to the bidder, and then secondly, there would need to be a contract for sale entered into between the city and the bidder and then a deed from us to the bidder deeding over the land.”

As Armstrong pointed out, the council members possessed the right to reject any bid they did not feel adequately met the city’s needs.

An inquiry was made as to whether additional language could be added to the deed

“You could put a number of things. You could put a reverter clause in it that said in the event that it was not used for a certain purpose, the title would revert back to the city,” Armstrong said. “You can reserve things such as minerals. There’s a number of things we could do concerning the property.

“You can award the bid tonight, but clearly, the only documents that actually transfer ownership and property would be a contract of sale and the deed,” he continued. “So, if there were any stipulations that the council wanted to place on the conveyance, you could do that within your motion tonight.”

According to City Secretary Carla Sheridan, the bidders expressed intentions of using the building for commercial purposes.

Armstrong recommended that the board move forward by accepting the bid.

“My motion would be that we award the bid on the property at 103 E. Parker to the individuals that have submitted the bid and that we authorize our city attorney to draft a contract for sale and deed to be executed between the parties,” he said. “And if there were any stipulations or conditions that y’all wanted to place, we could add those in there.”

A motion was made, seconded and unanimously carried by the members of the board to award the bid.

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