Bus barn

A rendering of the new Cody School District transportation complex next to the FFA Barn.

Cody School District board members didn’t get quite as much as they had hoped in selling land on Beacon Hill, but they got enough to continue on the path to a new bus barn.

Trustees unanimously approved the sale of nearly 26 acres of land in two parcels for a combined total of $900,000 at the end of a live auction Wednesday at the district boardroom.

“If we don’t move forward tonight, we’ll have to set aside a lot of the work we’ve done up to this point,” chair Jenni Rosencranse said.

Trustee Cathy Roes said in her motion to approve the bids that while she had hoped for more money, they had put in too much work to this point to not go ahead.

With the sale of the property and taking into account the other sources of funding, the district will have more than $3.5 million for the project.

“That does meet the criteria,” Rosencranse said.

While the properties together had originally been appraised at $1.16 million in May, an addendum by auctioneer Musser Bros. in October noted that since appraiser Jake Fulkerson finished his appraisal, new details had emerged regarding the development agreement, Department of Environmental Quality report and Water Distribution plan, along with a change in lot sizes, that added considerable cost to the buyers.

After adjustments – approved by Fulkerson – to account for the new information, the property ended up selling for roughly 86 percent of the assessed value.

Trustee Tom Keegan said being within 15 percent of an appraised value is normal.

“They made the right decision,” Harold Musser said of the trustees.

Musser served as auctioneer for the event, which he received a flat fee for doing as a condition of him also being a bidder.

Kip Thiel was the high bid for the 17.58 acres in Lot 3, which included more than 4 acres of land zoned residential but also a lot of requirements that he said would cost him another $118,000 to accomplish, not counting the need to build a new road.

While he won the auction for the property with a bid of $500,000, he agreed to purchase it for $550,000 after trustees, especially vice chair Brandi Nelson, expressed reservations about selling the parcel at half a million.

Thiel said he would do what his construction company has done in other locations and build residential homes on at least some of the land.

Musser purchased the 8.32 acres of commercial land in Lot 2 for $350,000. The lot came with a similar addendum and trustees said they were pleased with the price they received for the lot.

Each buyer also paid a $2,500 fee to cover the district’s advertising costs for the properties.

Approving the land sales keeps the district on track for construction of the new transportation complex.

The plan post-auction calls for advertising the construction Dec. 3, with construction pre-bid Dec. 17, construction bid due Feb. 4 and bid award Feb. 18.

The estimated $3.4-3.7 million project involves a new bus barn, maintenance building and small office building near the FFA barn.

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