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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:54 pm 
Recently the former Golden Dragon Restaurant was put up for bid and nobody wanted it. The Town put it for bid for a "Reserve" (starting bid) of $130,000 and at the last Town Council meeting the Town Manager, Alex Brown reported that nobody bid so he would like to open a new bid round with $0 reserve but hopes to recover the $65,000 the town has spent on the property.

Back in July 2015 the Town Council declared it non-essential clearing the way for a sale after getting a report from a structural engineer declaring the building sound. The Town went looking for an appraiser and after months fond one in Las Cruces who agreed to do it and determined the $130,000 value. State law says that municipalities and counties must sell property at "fair market value" but it seems that those who had previously expressed an interest didn't see it that way.

After my first article about this blighted building (Read it Here) back in 2013 the Town began the arduous process of acquiring it and succeeded in January 2015 and declared it "non-essential" in July 2015. Many in both the Town Admin and the community had visions of another badly needed parking lot and an entrance to the big Ditch Trail system which required a long term vision but the promise of a few dollars seems more alluring.

This building lies on the edge, but within, the Downtown Historic District and there my never again be the opportunity for the Town to acquire such a prime piece at such a cheap price. Another issue is the money it would cost to either demolish or fix. Five years ago Ordinance 2011 was past by council which was an attempt to make abandoned buildings in the Historic District conform to certain standards like no plywood on broken windows and doors and yearly inspections and permits like fire inspections. Even though the Town decided the ordinance was unenforceable the Town Council has never rescinded nor revised the ordinance.

So round 2 of the attempt to sell is coming soon. There are 4 Daily News outlets, including this one and 1 monthly, will the Town continue to notify only one about issues and events? Or would they rather keep hush hush pretending to be transparent.

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