City unlikely to buy property on golf course

Friday, January 19, 2018

McCOOK, Neb. — The McCook City Council received a written offer earlier this week from a resident looking to sell the city a chunk of vacant property on the Heritage Hills Golf Course. The property owners thought the city might consider the site as a location for a new swimming pool or events center, however, city leaders indicated the city probably wasn’t in a position to consider the $540,000 purchase.

“Obviously the financing on the city side would be a difficult thing for us to try to handle at this point, I’m not sure where we would come up with that,” said City Manager Nate Schneider during Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting. Schneider said he appreciated the property owners, John and Betty Nothnagel, approaching the city to see if there was interest and reiterated the topic was brought to City Council only as a discussion item to receive and file the offer.

Schneider also indicated the Swimming Pool Committee, tasked with researching options for construction of a new city pool, preferred to keep the swimming pool at its current location. As far as consideration for the site as the home for a potential events center, Schneider indicated that potential project wasn’t anywhere near a land acquisition point. “Whether or not that [location] would work or not, were not even to that point in time yet.”

Mayor Mike Gonzales indicated it was unlikely the city was in a position to purchase the property. “I don’t see how the city would be in a position to buy and develop that land at this time,” he said.

Council members subsequently asked city staff to thank the Nothnagels for the offer before advancing to the next scheduled item.

The property was previously slated for development into 13 residential lots but plans were scrapped after the development was unable to obtain assistance via Tax Increment Financing, according to the written offer presented to the city.

The property is owned by John and Betty Nothnagel and located at Block 9 of the Golf Course First Addition, sitting just south of Club House Drive. According to the offer, the Northnagels were disappointed to discover they probably would not be able to utilize Tax Increment Financing to build condos on the property, which made the project too cost prohibitive to install infrastructure for sewer, water, electrical and road paving.

The Nothnagels were asking $540,000 for the property and also indicated they were willing to finance the purchase themselves, providing the city with three different 10-year options and three different 15-year options varying by down payment amounts. The proposed interest rate was 2-percent on all options aside from the zero down options, which would be at 2.5-percent.

Other activity during Monday’s meeting:

* A $1060 claim for damages against the city from John Kircher was received and forwarded to the city’s insurance carrier without comment. According to the claim, an excavator hit a pex line going to the basement of a home at 107 South 8th Street. The repair invoice indicates “pipes full mud had to clean all water screens, toilet full pressure blew mud covered all walls, ceiling, frig, ice maker, worried about water heater full of mud no way to drain in the basement, left with big mess no attempt to clean mess up.”

Repair work included the use of a dehumidifier and spraying the basement for mold and mildew, as well as $130 to replace bluegrass on the lawn, among other items.

* Schmick’s Market was approved for a special liquor license for a wedding reception at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds Community Building on Feb. 20.

* A certificate of compliance for the 2017 maintenance agreement between the City of McCook and Nebraska Department of Roads was approved as part of the consent agenda. A renewal of Maintenance Agreement No. 17 between the same entities was similarly approved without discussion.

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