Atlantic City Council News
August 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson
The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday evening, tabled action on one of the matters placed before them, and agreed to place another item on the agenda for a future meeting. The Council tabled a Resolution granting a sewer line easement to Andrew J. Knuth. Knuth had offered to pay the City $50 for a ten-foot sewer easement on the north side of the City lot which abuts his law office at 3rd and Walnut Streets to install a PVC pipe, but some members of the Council thought that was not enough money, would create problems for future, possible owners of the four vacant adjacent lots, and would it benefit Knuth more than the City.
Councilpersons Shaun Shouse, Steve Livengood and Kathy Somers expressed concerns about the placement of the sewer line under a potential building. City Attorney Dave Weidersteen said the terms of the easement state the sewer line must be placed so that a building cannot be placed on top of it, but if a change is needed in later years, that can be accommodated. Knuth said the line would be placed as close to his building as possible. The City paid $200,000 to have an old hotel on the lot torn down, in hopes of selling the property to future businesses. Councilman Shouse raised the issue of compensation for the easement, and how an easement would affect the value of the property.
Councilperson Somers asked if Knuth would be interested in buying an adjacent lot. He said he would, but it would only be to install private parking for his business. That would also serve to increase the amount of street parking spaces available for restaurants in the area, especially during the lunch hour, and provide the City with some much needed property tax income. Attorney Dave Weidersteen will draw-up an agreement with Knuth for a fair price on the lot, which will be presented to the Council for its approval during their meeting on September 7th.
The Council also voted to place on their next agenda, a request to accept $1,000 compensation from Atlantic resident Ed Leistad, who said he purchased a lot at 706 Walnut Street, under the assumption it was 100-feet, when it was actually only 50-feet. Liestad said he can’t do anything with a 50-foot lot, and offered the money to terminate the purchase agreement. He had originally paid the City $5,000 for the property. After much discussion, the Council agreed it would be in the best interest of everyone involved to accept the proposal, and will include it in a Resolution at their next meeting.
But Councilman Shaun Shouse warned in the future, persons bidding on City property should do their research beforehand, so mistakes aren’t made that would cost the City lost revenue.