County to consider property bids

Howard County commissioners are expected to discuss and decide how to move forward — or if to move forward at all — with bids recently received for a parcel of property located on the north side of Big Spring during Monday morning's meeting.The property — located near the County Road and Bridge Office on the north side of the city — has received a lot of attention in the past few weeks, as several real estate investors have shown a strong desire to acquire the county-owned half-block.Commissioners met in executive session June 3 to consider the sale of the parcel, after which the court decided to accept bids following publication of the process. According to County Judge Mark Barr, the reaction from the real estate community was more than he had expected.“It's no secret just how volatile the real estate market is in Big Spring and Howard County right now,” Barr said. “And, if this Cline Shale play goes like a lot of people are thinking it will, I imagine it will get even worse. However, even with that in mind, I was quite surprised to see how many bids were submitted.”Barr said county officials opened the bids Friday, with the court expected to examine the documents during its Monday morning meeting.“I fully expect the decision — who we'll sell the property to, if we decide to sell it at all — will be made Monday,” Barr said. “We'll just have to wait and see how that goes.”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.”