The Purcellville Town Council on Tuesday rejected the lone remaining bid to purchase the town-owned Pullen House property after two other parties withdrew their bids for the half-acre lot and building adjacent to Fireman’s Field.
Dale Lehnig, the town’s director of Engineering, Planning and Development, said the remaining bid is for $101,000, submitted by Rebecca Krausman. She said staff recommended the council reject the bid, which was for less than the $175,000 the town paid for the property 10 years ago, and below its current assessed value of $264,300.
Lehnig said town staff would like guidance from the council on how to move forward with the property.
Councilman Tip Stinnette referred to the bids as a “blinding flash of the obvious.”
“Now we are left with the property in a state of repair that it is in. We will have to have the discussion with what to do with the property and I would encourage you to put it on the agenda,” he said.
Councilman Joel Grewe agreed, saying he hopes town staff will examine the other options and come back with suggestions and recommendations with what to do next.
Considering the property is assessed at $264,300, with the land alone being worth $146,000, Vice Mayor Chris Bertaut recommended evaluating the total costs for retaining the property with possible demolition of the building and re-use of the land for either a parking lot or recreational space versus putting it up for sale through a real estate agent.
Demolition of the building has previously been assessed at a cost of $70,000, he said.
Bertaut was unsure about the idea of adding a parking lot because he feels it would do little to alleviate the parking situation.
“I would not put off the table the idea of selling it and accepting a price that’s somewhere in the vicinity of the value for the land because at a minimum that gets it off our hands and off our books,” Bertaut said.
Mayor Kwasi Fraser said he would like to see innovative and creative ideas brought to the council for consideration so the town can generate revenue or make it a recreational asset.
“I’ll implore all committees, commissions and boards: let’s come up with creative ideas,” Fraser said.