Two prime parcels at Keizer Station set to be auctioned to the highest bidder to cover costs associated with an anticipated bond default won’t be placed on the block after all.
City officials announced late Monday afternoon that Chuck Sides paid a total of $627,009.25 to make current payments on taxpayer-financed local improvement district bond debt. The properties, which are adjacent to Interstate 5 along Keizer Station Boulevard, were to be auctioned on the steps of the Marion County Courthouse at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. Now the only piece up for grabs is a 1.47 acre parcel deemed unbuildable and worthless by the Marion County Assessor’s office – it literally has a tax assessment of $0. That auction is moving forward, said City Attorney Shannon Johnson, meaning Sides would lose title to the land.
On the other two properties, Johnson explained that payments were made current, but the bond debt was not paid off completely.
“He had to bring them current before the foreclosure sale,” Johnson said. “That means he paid the past due payments, all the penalties, attorney fees and the property taxes we paid for him on those two properties.”
The city issued $26.8 million in bonds to pay for infrastructure in Keizer Station, and divided that amount up among the properties set to benefit from the investment. Lowe’s and Target were assessed $2.2 million, and paid it up front. Likewise, much of the shopping center has been since purchased by Donahue Schriber, which is not behind on its payments.
The Keizertimes first reported on the delinquent bond payments in April of 2011. Since then city officials had to scramble to piece together a plan that allowed urban renewal dollars to pay down any bond debt, which ultimately would be paid by Keizer taxpayers. An extension of the Keizer Urban Renewal District eventually passed muster with neighboring jurisdictions as well as the city council, but not before agreements were made that the city would ultimately pay back those agencies for monies lost as a result of extending the district’s lifespan.
City leaders planned to recoup as much as possible through foreclosing on and auctioning the lands, including a 4.3 acre site with market value of $2.7 million and 2.5 acres with a market value of $1.58 million. Tuesday’s auction was to be a denouement of sorts for the proceedings, which ultimately affected a number of neighboring agencies.
Less clear is the fate of two other parcels Sides admitted to making payments on for other property owners, near Volcanoes Stadium. City officials have declined comment on these proceedings.