County to accept bids on half-block

Howard County commissioners voted to begin accepting bids on a county-owned half-block of property on the city's north side during a special meeting Monday, hoping to take advantage of the ongoing real estate boom in the Crossroads area.Following an executive session to discuss a recent inquiry to buy the property — located near the County Road and Bridge Office — the court gave the go ahead to begin taking bids on the plat, said County Judge Mark Barr.“This isn't the first time we've had real estate people interested in that particular piece of property,” Barr said. “We were approached a while back and offered $90,000 for it. However, the court didn't feel like that was a sufficient offer. This time, though, we feel like the market has shifted, somewhat, and the county may be able to get a good bid for the land.”Barr said the bid process will begin with publication in the Big Spring Herald.“We'll advertise the bids by publication for about two weeks and open the bids June 21,” Barr said. “At that point, we'll have a better idea if the offers are going to be like last time, or if they will be a little more in-line with a half-block in that area. Then, the commissioners court can decide if it's worth moving forward.”Barr said the benefits of selling the parcel of land are two-fold.“First and foremost, it will get the property back on the tax rolls. That's certainly the most important aspect of this,” Barr said. “Also, it will help bring funds into the county's general fund, which will give us more to work with when it comes to set the budget for the coming year. There is so much going on right now — much-needed maintenance for county roads, the deal with the city regarding the landfill and other items — that every penny counts right now. This could be a bit of a boost for us.”