The failure to secure a buyer for the HPM property in Mt. Gilead has prompted officials to set up a tax sale for May 8, 2015 in hopes of recovering the delinquent taxes on the property and finding a new purpose for the site. A minimum sale price of $300,000 has been set.

“The basis for the price is there is about $250,000 in taxes that are due, and there are assessments and maintenance costs,” said Commissioner Tom Whiston on Monday. “All other liens have been waived and removed. All indications show that, until we get that building removed and remediated with all the EPA issues, we can’t proceed forward, and that’s what we need to do.”

Two previous sheriff’s sales resulted in only the Edison ballfields property being purchased. The 6 parcel, 80.831 acre-property, appraised at $1,926,400.00, saw no bids at two-thirds of its fair market value on February 6. The second auction, held February 20, lasted merely minutes, with no bidders.

This new ‘bargain’ price comes with stipulations, said Commissioner Dick Miller, one of which is a million dollar bond that would have to be posted by the successful bidder, along with ‘a list of things they would need to do and how they would leave the property.’

“The bond will guarantee we will get (the property) back in a ‘site ready’ condition,” explained Miller. “It allows them to make a profit and agree to the stipulations; we will wind up with a good site, and the bond money will guarantee they will do it – or the bond money will allow us to hire another company to clean it up and finish the process.”

“The property isn’t doing any good just sitting out there rotting,” said Whiston, “so we think this is a motivating thing. We don’t want to run into a situation like the GM plant, where you just have a big ugly eyesore. That’s why we have stipulations on it. The bond is there to ensure it’s done properly.”

Thirty percent must be put down at the end of the sale, with the balance due in 30 days. Stipulations include:

– handling of hazardous substances in compliance with Federal, State and/or local hazardous waste handling and disposal.

– possible contaminated soil excavation and disposal of contaminated soils including removal, decontamination and disposal of any related debris that is associated with project demolition, in a time sensitive nature.

– allowing the Village of Mt. Gilead and its agents to enter onto the property for the purpose of performing environmental testing and reporting including a phase I Environmental Site Assessment, a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, and complete a Remedial Action Plan working towards Federal and State EPA clearance to all above ground hazards.

“All indications are with our location, and the land that we have out there, with the rail spur, it’s a good industrial site for development,” Whiston affirmed. “The important thing we need to see are jobs, and we can’t do that with an abandoned site.”