Old house back on market

Published 12:26 am Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Going, going, sold to the highest bidder — not so fast.

Washington’s attempt to save an old house has been derailed, at least temporarily. During its Sept. 12 meeting, the City Council learned that Reilly Software is unable to buy the house at 507 W. Second St.

In January, the council voted to sell that property to Reilly Software for $3,500. The $3,500 offered by Reilly Software was the highest bid submitted for the property.

That property was an impetus behind the city’s demolition-by-neglect ordinance, which the city uses to keep historically and/or architecturally significant properties from deteriorating to the point they cannot be saved by rehabilitation measures.

The property is on the market, again.

During its Sept. 12 meeting, the council OK’d solicitation of offers to buy the property. The city, as it did the first time around with the property, is using the upset-bid process to sell the property.

During its discussion, the council indicated it will sell the property under specific terms outlining its rehabilitation and preservation. The council also is considering imposing a deadline for specific restoration-related work to be completed, or the property reverts to the city.

When the council voted earlier this year to sell the property to Reilly Software, Mayor Archie Jennings said the demolition-by-neglect ordinance will lead to other properties with historical and/or architectural significance being restored and preserved.

After the city receives an initial offer on the property, under terms of the upset-bid process, the “City Clerk shall then publish a notice that within ten (10) days of the notice any person may raise the offer through an upset bid(s) of not less than ten percent (10%) more than the first one thousand ($1,000.00) of the offer and five percent (5%) more than the remainder off the offer. When a qualifying upset bid is made, the bidders shall deposit with the City Clerk five percent (5%) of the amount of the increased bid and the Clerk shall re-advertise the offer in the amount of the increased bid.”

That procedure will be followed until no additional qualifying bids are received, at which time the city may accept the offer and sell the property to the highest bidder. At any time, the city may reject any and all offers and bids.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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