• Last modified 1037 days ago (Aug. 18, 2021)


Despite assurances, city can't back out

City council members were assured before they voted last week that Marion could cancel sale of industrial park land for a dollar store, but the contract signed by the mayor contradicts that.

When the proposed sale was discussed Aug. 9, council member Ruth Herbel said the city earlier had agreed not to sell land for a Dollar General competitor.

“Because it’s due diligence, I think we could go ahead and approve if we chose to, but if we find out that there’s that type of thing, then we would just inform them of it,” city attorney Susan Robson told council members.

“If there’s evidence it was mutually agreed upon,” city administrator Roger Holter added.

Holter said at that time he appreciated Herbel’s concerns, but “there’s a process to go through.”

“Council will move to go ahead and do professional design work, make our determination there, and 120 days diligence period for both sides to make sure this will even out,” Holter said.

“Nobody’s mind is made up,” councilman Susan Gray said. “This is just 120 days to figure out whether or not that even works for them. That’s what we gave them permission to do. We didn’t give them permission to build, OK?”

According to the contract signed by Mayor David Mayfield, only the buyer has 120 days to back out.

“Buyer shall have 120 days after receipt of the title commitment and seller’s documents to perform and complete all inspections, investigations and due diligence to determine whether to purchase the property. Buyer may, at its option, terminate this contract for any or no reason by delivering written notice to seller at any time on or before 5 p.m. on or before the last day of the due diligence period, and buyer shall receive return of the deposit.”

The contract contains no language giving the seller — the city — any such right.

Last modified Aug. 18, 2021