Herlong property sold
Sept. 24, 2013 — The Lassen County Board of Supervisors has approved a sales agreement to dispose of Local Reuse Authority property in Herlong.
County administrative officer Martin Nichols will execute the sales agreement and other necessary property transfer documents to affect the sale of the land to Pezzullo and Smith, LLC, as approved by the board during its Tuesday, Sept. 17 meeting.
Nichols said that following the board’s approval, escrow was set to open at Chicago Title and the actual sale and transaction would be about 45 days.
The county acquired the property in October 2003 as a result of the Military Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1995. According to the request for proposal, the county/Local Reuse Authority was looking to dispose of the property in order to secure the ultimate development of the certain property.
The request for proposal was distributed June 4. Proposals had to be returned by July 25 and a review was held Aug. 16.
This marks the second round of request for proposals and the board’s decision resulted in comments from another person who had submitted a request for proposal.
Local resident Willis Dow commented both during the public portion on the agenda and during discussion on the agenda item.
He said, “Obviously you guys proposed not to accept my bid on the LRA properties however I did bid nearly three times higher than Pezzullo and Smith. The conduct of this board, I don’t think, followed any proper order …”
Tax collector Richard Egan explained that during the first round of request for proposals, none of them addressed the board’s desire to get rid of all the property at the best price.
“The second request for proposal process, we received four proposals. Two of those, the proponents proposed to take the entire property. Two of them did not,” Egan said.
The proposals to take the entire property were given more weight and, of those, Pezzullo and Smith bid the highest amount, according to Egan.
Dow said he only bid on parcel number four and told the board the request for proposal didn’t specify the bid would be weighted greater if a person bid on every parcel. He also expressed interest in the other acreage, too.
“If that’s the way it is then I’ll take the other open ground, but I was not interested in the buildings,” Dow said.
Egan said a request for proposal asks anyone what their proposal is, rather than dictating specifications for disposal of the property.
“It’s intentionally broad in nature for the proposal to see what is best the proposal that comes to the county from those that are out there,” Egan said. “I tend to agree with the board’s philosophy that we’ve got some good stuff and we’ve got some bad stuff and the intention, I think of the board, was to stop the bleeding or the expense incurred by owning all of that property out there by getting rid of the good with the bad so to speak. I think that was the intention of the (request for proposal) and I think it accomplished that goal.”
Supervisor Aaron Albaugh asked if there was anything that would preclude Dow from working with Pezzullo and Smith in conjunction with the title use transfer and tying that all together when it goes to the title company.
Egan said, “What the board is envisioning here in the contract that is being recommended is to sell the property to Smith and Pezzullo. What they do after they buy it is up to them like any land-owner.”
After making some comments, Supervisor Larry Wosick made a motion to accept the agreement and Dow took issue with him.
He said, “I would recommend that Larry Wosick recuse himself from even voting on this since he’s in the first round of bids. He’s the person I was bidding against. He’s also the supervisor that was willing to make a deal under the table with me if he ended up with property,” he alleged.
Wosick responded, “It needs to be clarified when I did put in a bid, it was set up at the time that it needed to be looked into.”
He continued, “I asked county counsel to see if this was a conflict and if it was that I would withdraw. And I did look into it and I did withdraw.
“And I was trying to be accommodating to Mr. Dow when I saw he came in and wanted to get a few acres and I said, ‘well certainly if it works out, I wouldn’t have a problem.’ So, Mr. Chairman, I would appreciate it if you didn’t allow the audience to make false accusations and try to vent sour grapes.”
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