OCEAN CITY – The saga of Ocean City’s years-long attempt to acquire a former car dealership, at 16th Street and Simpson Avenue, continued Nov. 19, as Ocean City Council unanimously approved three bond ordinances, totaling $615,000, to help cover the cost.
The city is taking the property under eminent domain, which allows private land to be acquired for public use, with compensation to the owner, Klause Enterprises.
In February, the city approved three bond ordinances to cover the property’s cost, based on the assessed value, which, at the time, was $11.9 million. Since then, the assessment increased.
That means three more bonds at $355,000, $100,000, and $160,000. By the end of the year, the city expects to pay that money to the court that is evaluating the fair market value of the land.
“Those appraisals are about a year old now, and we’re getting ready to pay the money in court, so we’ve updated the appraisals to make sure that we use the current values,” said city Attorney Dorothy McCrosson.
She said by that time, the city will have environmental reports on the property, and will know how much of the total cost to keep in escrow to fund any potential future cleanup.
“When we pay the money into court, that’s when the city becomes the owner of the property,” McCrosson said. The city plans to use the land for open space.
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