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Merchant offers city $1 for lot

Doug Modlin, owner of The Bottle Shop in downtown Hebron offered the city $1 for the vacant lot next door to this shop at Monday evening’s city council meeting.
The lot at 119 N. 4th St., was recently cleared of a dilapidated building and sold to the city as was 117 N. 4th St.
Prior to Modlin’s offer, the council was mulling city attorney, Joe Murray’s suggestion of a two-part bidding process that would let potential buyers know the city wants timely improvements on the properties.
“We could develop our own bid forms,” Murray said.
Modlin said he would give the city the dollar and he would invest thousands to expand his shop with a new roof system for his existing building and the new one.
“I don’t want to get into a bidding war with someone who wants to buy it and do nothing with it,” Modlin said.
Modlin said should the lot at 117 be improved, there would be a green space between the two buildings.
The building next door to Modlin that came down shared a wall with his shop.
“It was a common wall. If that wall fell over, our shop would still stand,” he said. “There is nothing feasible about repairing the wall or saving it. There is a crack that goes from the top to the bottom.”
He added it is in his best interests to own the lot.
The city is dealing with the two properties on 4th Street and two others, 740 Lincoln Ave. and 140 S. 8th St.
“We want to keep this on track,” Murray said. He will format a custom-made bid form for the properties and present it at the April meeting.
In another property matter, Randy Smith would like his property near the hospital to be unlocked. As it stands, Smith said he is hauling hay and other loads through the hospital parking lot that didn’t used to be there.
“We just want it un-landlocked,” Smith said.
The issue dates back to 2000 when the city had the land for sale and it was sold to the Smiths for $1,000, but the legal description wasn’t accurate. The sale was rescinded a month after it was sold.
Huber said the situation needs correcting.
“If we had re-advertised it years ago, we could have taken care of this,” Murray said.
Randy Hergott, who attended the meeting, told the city they shouldn’t sell it because Smith had alterior motives.
“There was something wrong with the description. That’s the reason this was stopped,” Murray said.
“Thankfully,” Hergott answered.
In other business, the LB840 application process was addressed with a flow chart.
Applications for Hebron sales tax money will be presented to the Citizen Advisory Committee. Financials will be sent to a third party financial advisor for review.
According to the chart, applications that are denied may go through a public meeting and advisory committee process.
In addition, the council approved an upgrade for wastewater valves at a cost of $14,940.

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