The City of Amarillo will now own six more acres of downtown property, and city commissioners said it's a purchase they could not pass up. Some taxpayers urged them to take a second look at procuring one of the city's most historic landmarks, but they passed the purchase with a three-to-zero vote.
It's a buy that will cost the city $2.6 million. Today at the city commission meeting, some taxpayers complained about it -- but it might have been too late.
"That you take the appraisals and take this estimate and take another look at the negotiations of this...of the two million, six hundred thousand dollars. i think it needs a harder look at what the true fair market value is on this property," one taxpayer said.
" T he purchase is way over value. I further believe you're really kind of rolling the dice, betting on as to whether or not there really is some good viable use for that building," another taxpayer said
Current owner, Bob Goree, will have the property for two more years and city commissioner Lilia Escajeda said even though the city has no use for it right now, there are definite plans for the future.
" T he opportunity to purchase over six acres of property contiguous to city property was tandem. " Escajeda said. "T his would never happen again, where we'd be able to buy everything right next to the city hall and to have city property that might be used for other things such as a development of a new civic center."
Commissioners said funding will not come from tax revenue, but from a general construction fund. They the construction reserve is funded through sales taxes and will be replenished within three years. They reassured taxpayers at the meeting that there will be no impact on city taxes. Escajeda said the deal was not intended to attract train service from amtrak, but they will keep their options open.