The City of Nome is looking to sell land, and an auction to do so could come before the end of the year.
After canceling Monday’s regular session due to “lack of business,” the Nome City Council met Wednesday for a noon work session to discuss “disposing of vacant city lots.”
The session was triggered by interest from one Nome resident who, at a meeting earlier this month, asked the council to sell just one city-owned lot: an unfilled parcel along East 6th Avenue the resident wants in order to build a home.
But when the council met to discuss the offer, council members were eager to sell other plots of city-owned land as well. Council member Tom Sparks supported the sale.
“It seems to me we could have somebody who wants to develop the property, could get it into the tax roles … ” Sparks said.
“It’s on the tax rolls!” Mayor Denise Michels added with enthusiasm.
Looking at a large map of the city, discussion grew to include roughly two dozen parcels, including properties on 6th Avenue along existing roads, as well as land near Northwest Campus and Campbell Way. Council members were also keen to sell properties the city reclaimed through abatement.
“I could go either way in putting them all up for bid,” council member Stan Anderson said.
With a minimum bid for each unfilled lot starting at about $20,000 council members said the land auction could mean some much-needed revenue for the city. And all council members expressed interest in the roughly $2,400 a year in property taxes for each plot down the road, even if no improvements are made.
Still, any auction is some time off: the council first has to officially decide which lots it wants to put on the auction block. A partial list should go before the council at their Oct. 13 meeting.
A final list would require a month’s worth of public notice before any auction could take place. Barring any obstacles, the auction could take place before the end of the year.