Motel bid barely over target
Nearly 30 people packed the parking lot Tuesday evening at the former Holiday Motel in Florence. Most were there to watch, but it was Dan Fletcher of Florence that took home the prize with a $7,000 bid on the hotel — with the county standing to lose as much as $30,000 in back taxes.
The county set a minimum bid of $5,000, but auctioneer Lyle Leppke had trouble getting that amount at the start. After dropping the price as low as $1,000, a bidding war ensued.
“I didn’t think it would break $5,000,” Commissioner Dan Holub said. “We just needed more than two people interested, and there were.”
The commissioners will review a sale contract Monday. The contract must be approved before ownership can be transferred. A sheriff’s deed with no liens or back taxes will then be given to Fletcher if the contract is approved.
After a similar auction last year, the commission refused to approve; however, Holub said this time the commission will accept the contract.
Two previous offers by out-of-town people fell through since the motel was seized in 2011.
Once ownership is transferred, Fletcher can do whatever he pleases with the property, from remodeling the motel to tearing it down.
The property is valued at more than $34,000, but after next year Fletcher can choose to protest.
Despite being covered in a thick layer of dust, the majority of the rooms look ready to hold guests. No inspections were done, however, so there is no way to know the actual condition. There is visible roof damage.