Leavenworth city commissioners were asked to consider this week an offer of $1 for city-owned land that's considered surplus property but paying a surveyor $750 to prepare a property description.
In the end, commissioners decided to ask the potential buyer, James Wiseman, if he would be willing to pay half of the $750 surveyor fee with the city picking up the rest of the cost.
Commissioners took up the issue during a meeting Tuesday.
City Clerk Karen Logan said Wiseman is offering to purchase city-owned land that is behind property he owns at 906 Ottawa St. But
Wiseman is offering to purchase only about a third of about 0.2 acres the city has put up for sale in that area. The city-owned property has a North Ninth Street address.
Logan said city officials believe the only way the property can be transferred is to have it surveyed. She said Wiseman could purchase the entire parcel without the need for a surveyor because the parcel is already platted.
Mayor Larry Dedeke said he felt the surveyor fee should be the purchaser's responsibility.
"I'm not going to eat $749," he said.
City Manager Scott Miller said Wiseman is looking at purchasing a piece of the city-owned property to use as part of the yard for his property.
Miller said under normal spring and summer conditions, the city would mow the land behind Wiseman's property two to three times per year. He said this would cost $40 for each mowing.
"You're really talking about this paying for itself in seven and a half years or earlier," he said.
City Commissioner Mark Preisinger asked why Wiseman can't be talked into taking the entire piece of the city-owned property.
City Commissioner Phil Urban said Wiseman would have to go behind someone else's property in order to maintain the entire parcel.
Urban said a legal description could be written for the property without a survey being needed.
Preisinger said he would defer to City Attorney Thomas Dawson, who indicated a property description by a certified surveyor is needed.
Dedeke said he could support splitting the cost with Wiseman.
Urban said he's already talked with Wiseman about splitting the cost. And Urban said Wiseman won't split the cost.
A motion requesting that Wiseman pay half of the surveyor's fee passed unanimously.
Urban said he was voting for it, but "I think it's a dead horse."