County close to clearing title in park

By Maura Wery

After a four-year fight over deeds and foreclosure, the Riley County Commission is finally close to obtaining title to a property at 101 Noon Street in Fairmont Park. Obtaining the property will cost the county parks department around $20,000, not including closing costs, but it will also conclude what the county counselor’s office describes as a “roller coaster ride” over the property itself.

Assistant county counselor Craig Cox said the effort to obtain title to the property from the current owner, a property firm known as Atlantic Coast, was complicated by errors in the legal description for the property dating back to the 1980s, when a previous owner obtained the land from that owner’s father.  At the time, the legal description put the property more than 400 feet into property owned by the county.

That owner subsequently defaulted on a mortgage, prompting the mortgage holder to take possession of the land, which it subsequently sold to the current owner.

“It took a lot of time to figure out the legal research,” Cox told county commissioners.

Cox worked on a legal pleading to correct the description on the deed, working with Atlantic Coast. After meeting with a judge in Riley County, the county finally got what it was working for: the description of the property in the earlier deed was changed.

“That helped things to start flowing,” Cox said.

From start to now, Cox said that it’s taken the county four years to get things settled enough to get a contract for the property. If everything goes as planned, the county will sign the contract on Sept. 28. The county has no immediate plans for the property but said that it will be developed as part of Fairmont Park.

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