2017-08-25 / Community

Arundel sells four lots for $175,000

ARUNDEL – Arundel selectmen have agreed to sell four lots in town acquired between 1994 and 2014 for nonpayment of property taxes.

Selectmen agreed to the sales at their July 24 meeting and, at the board’s Aug. 14 outing, Town Manager Keith Trefethen advised them that paperwork was underway to transfer most of the deeds. In all, the sales have netted the town nearly $175,000.

Herbert and Tracy Goulden bought a 1 acre lot off Old Post Road, acquired by the town in July 1994 and assessed at $35,700. The couple’s winning bid of $1,000 was the only one received. According to Selectman Velma Hayes, the town has tried to sell this lot “many, many times” before, without success.

Joseph Edward submitted the lower of two bids for 2.5 acres wedged between River Road and the adjoining railroad tracks, located next door to his home. He bid $1,100. The high bidder, a resident of Cape Porpoise, had submitted an offer of $7,000, but backed out after determining property was not suitable as a house lot, losing his $1,500 deposit in the process. The lot, acquired in April 2005, is assessed at $45,600.

The most lucrative sale was for 30.99 acres off Route 1 near Tire Warehouse. Acquired in January 2014 and assessed by the town at $234,500, it sold for $147,051 to Mario Binette, who submitted the highest of five bids for the site.

Finally, Donald and Karen Holbrook prevailed among two interested parties in 5.26-acres on Bergeron Lane.

Taken by the town in January 2013, the lot was assessed at $53,400. The Holbrooks got it for $17,000. The were actually the ones who initialed the entire sale process, when they enquired about the property in April, after first approaching the planning board about building a private road to a portion of their property to service a pair of house lots they plan to give to their children. However, the planning board said that would mean re-grading the existing driveway and moving underground power lines, work that tallied to a prohibitive cost of more than $300,000. Because the Holbrook property abuts the town-owned lot on Bergeron Lane, the couple asked Trefethen if selectmen might be willing to sell, on the hope that building an access road across the neighboring lot might be a cheaper endeavor, even with the purchase cost of the land. Selectmen decided the lot would have to go out to bid, and elected to try and unload all four lots at the same time.

Trefethen has said money from the sales will be applied to the purchase of land on Limerick Road to be used as the site of a new 8,000-square foot town office. Voters at the annual town meeting in June agreed to buy the 35-acre lot for $275,000, with 29 acres going to the newly-formed Arundel Conservation Trust for $175,000.

The recent sales will nearly cover the town’s $200,000 cost. Trefethen also said at the Aug. 14 meeting that a purchase and sale agreement has been signed with the owners of the Limerick Road property, and the deal is expected to be completed soon.

Compiled by Staff Writer Duke Harrington. He can be reached at news@kennebunkpost.com.

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