Pottawatomie County property sales soar

By The Mercury

Property sales in Pottawatomie County soared last month, eclipsing all monthly sales totals for at least the last 3 1/2 years.

Seventy-five parcels changed hands during the month of August––only the second 70-plus month since at least January of 2009, Appraiser Lois Schlegel told Pottawatomie County Commissioners Monday.

“August was a record-breaking month,” Schlegel said. “We haven’t had a 70 month since back in May of 2010. That’s good to see. It’s very encouraging.”

Of the 75 property sales, 44 were residential, three commercial, 16 vacant lots, and nine farmsteads or agricultural land.

To date, there have been 415 property sales in 2012, putting the county on track to outpace total sales for at least the past three years.

“I think we’re going to bypass what we’ve done for the last three years,” Schlegel said. “It’s very encouraging and I hope it keeps on going.”

Schlegel also reported a total of 40 subscribers to the appraiser’s property appraisal website for 2012. The total includes eight Level 2 subscribers, with access to just property information, and 32 Level 3 subscribers, who also have access to sales information.

The subscription numbers have more than tripled since access to the website began in 2007 with 10 Level 3 subscribers.

“The website really does our office a lot of good,” Schlegel said. “The phone isn’t ringing off the wall and it keeps us free to do other things.”

Schlegel anticipates $9,100 in revenue from the subscriptions this year. The website costs the appraiser’s office $6,800 annually, not including staff time to maintain the site and the computer hardware.

Commissioners agreed to keep the subscription rates the same for the coming year.

In other business Monday:

• Counselor John Watt informed the commission it must soon pay the amount determined in a condemnation action on property owned by the Manhattan Commission (sale barn) in order to meet a court-ordered deadline.

A panel of three court-appointed appraisers recently valued the strip of land west of the sale barn at $58,528. The county initiated the condemnation action for an upcoming Kansas Department of Transportation project to improve access to the Crown C business area east of Manhattan on U.S. 24.

• The commission accepted the low bid of 3.9 percent from St. Marys State Bank for a $105,000 bond issue for sewer and water improvements for the Whispering Meadows Subdivision. Total interest cost will be $41,327.

• County Attorney Sherri Schuck and Andrea Karnes, office manager, said cases from the 2012 Country Stampede continue to keep their office busy.

“Most of them apply for a diversion, but quite a few didn’t show up (for their court date) and we’ve issued bench warrants for their arrest,” Karnes said.

“A majority of them are from this state,” Schuck added. “They just don’t think anyone will come and get them.”

Karnes also reported the following cases filed so far this year: 469 criminal, 408 traffic, 92 juvenile offender, 32 child in need of care, 26 fish and game, and 10 care and treatment.

• The commission approved a contract and design by Schwab-Eaton for streets in Elbo Creek Estates, Unit 2. Bid opening for the project was set for 10 a.m. October 15.

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