Palisade buys vacant land north of downtown

The town of Palisade moved quickly to buy nearly an acre of land north of downtown, with town officials saying the purchase was a good deal that would give them control over an important piece of property.

Town trustees voted 4-0 Tuesday night to purchase three vacant parcels on the west side of Main Street north of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks for $125,000. Mayor Dave Walker and trustees David Hull and Michael Krueger were absent from the meeting.

Town Administrator Tim Sarmo said the owner of the property, Robert Melot, approached the town on several occasions over the years to gauge its interest in the property. But Sarmo said the town previously didn’t have the resources to buy the land, which he said was listed for $190,000 at one point.

But as the economy soured and property values dropped, Sarmo said he reconsidered the purchase and thought there may be a good chance to buy the property at a discounted rate and at some point spruce up a gateway into town.

“It may be an opportunity for us to do something with it and take it beyond a vacant and sometimes blighted state,” he said.

Town officials don’t appear to have any long-term plans for the property, which is zoned for commercial use. Sarmo said he has some ideas of what the town may do with the land in the short-term, however.

“Ultimately the benefit is control,” he said. “We can think of potential uses for the community in the meantime. It can be cleaned up, dressed up and put to beneficial use very quickly.”

The town is scheduled to close on the property Thursday.


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