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Inflated Ward Cove Sale
By Rob Holston


August 01, 2005

Thursday the Sale of Ward Cove becomes history. How fair is the sale to local small business owners?

The minimum bid is the 2005 Assessed Value. This "value" was increased by approximately 100% (that's 2X's) over the 2004 Assessed values. This new benchmark of value seems to be arbitrary and unfair as the local government both owns and sets this so called "value" on these properties. In the real world the property owner at least has the opportunity to appeal any such dramatic increase.

This new assessed value is over 2X's what the Borough failed to sell this land for when it was advertised just 6 months prior to the KGB Assessment department's rendition of 2005 "values". This sets the bar high for any local business that really expects to pay off the purchase price, develop the property and still afford to run a business profitably.

The lure of an auction has the ability to create a feeding frenzied and perhaps entice some big money folks from down south to bid high prices, but at what costs to the local economy? If they are speculating on what the land may be worth in ten to twenty years, is that going to create industry and jobs in the near future?

In my case the lease amount I pay per year would amortize a debt approximate to the 2004 assessment value, NOT the 2005 assessment amount. In effect if the property sells for even the new assessed value (minimum bid), the financial strain to pay off that debt or pay a lease to the "new owners" may prove to be UNaffordable, thus forcing me out of the cove & or out of business.

I would ask the Borough to set the minimum bid at 1/2 the 2005 Assessed values.

Rob Holston

Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related News:

Ketchikan: Listen to this KRBD story... A Gig Harbor, Washington businessman has offered to purchase Ketchikan Gateway Borough property in Ward Cove for $9 million. Deanna Garrison has the story.
KRBD - Ketchikan Public Radio - Friday - July 29, 2005


On the Web:

Ketchikan Borough Assembly information & agenda for August 01, 2005 meeting

Consideration of resolution 1903 of the Assembly of the KGB authorizing the Borough Manager to dispose by sale certain portions of real property in West Ward Cove....




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