Musser Bros. Auctions is set to handle the selling of a large chunk of Cody School District property on Beacon Hill.
At a quick meeting Aug. 6, trustees voted 6-1, with John McCue dissenting via phone, to approve Mark Musser’s company with stipulations if anyone with the company decides to bid.
Chair Jenni Rosencranse said numerous people in the community and on the board were concerned with the idea of Musser both running the auction and bidding on the property, but all trustees save for McCue were pleased with the stipulations.
“I’m not super comfortable with the whole process, really,” McCue said.
The agreement, which still needed to be approved by Musser, dictates he or anyone associated with his company may bid on either or both parcels to be sold, but if so the auction company will receive only a flat $10,000 fee for services.
If Musser declines to participate in the bidding the company will receive a 5 percent buyer’s fee.
“It levels the playing field completely,” trustee Karen Schipfman said. “The net to us is the same.”
Vice chair Brandi Nelson added Musser had spoken before the board at the July meeting saying he’d be willing to forego participating in the auction.
“He’s already stated that is his preference,” she said.
Swenson Auctions and Musser Brothers Auctions submitted bids and representatives from each spoke at the July board meeting about why trustees should go with them.
Musser’s bid was the same whether live or online auction, with a 5 percent buyer’s fee, $10,000 no sale fee and $5,000 advertising fee to be collected from the buyer at closing and returned to the school district.
Swenson’s bid was the same for either online or live auction, with seller’s fee being 1 percent of sale price and buyer’s fee 5 percent of sale price. No sale fee was $5,000 or 1 percent, whichever is larger.
Travis Swenson brought up the issue of Musser being on both sides of the auction, prompting a later response from Musser.
“This has been a long process,” Rosencranse said. “Everyone wants to do what’s right by the district, and by the public, in this process. I appreciate everybody’s input – this has been a difficult one.”
With the matter settled as long as Musser agrees, the district can once again move forward on plans to sell roughly 25 acres on Beacon Hill to help pay for construction of a new transportation facility on the remaining acreage near the ag barn.
The vote to approve the subdivision of the Beacon Hill property is slated for an upcoming city council meeting.
Of the 36 acres owned by the district on Beacon Hill the district plans to sell two of three divided parcels, 13-acre and 12-acre lots.
It will hold on to a 10.5-acre plat for the current FFA barn and future bus barn.
The new building design is targeted for completion in early August.
The facility construction is estimated to cost $3.7 million.
Some of the land to be sold was appraised a year and a half ago when the topic of a new or renovated building was first broached.
The complete Beacon Hill land was valued at $1.9 million. The current bus barn property is valued at $460,000.
The rest of the funding will come from more than $1.8 million in separate funding.