The Huxley City Council unanimously approved a sale that will hopefully lead to more success in filling the lots in the Prairie Ridge development.

Brothers Construction LLC, owned by Jay DeVries and Chad Ireland, submitted a new offer to purchase 30 of the single family detached lots in the Prairie Ridge development for $750,000. This is $60,000 less than the original offer they made in the fall of 2013, which failed to receive council approval. Other than the offered price, none of the specifications were changed from the original offer. With the most recent offer, the lots would go for $25,000 per lot.

A concern council members had at the October 2013 meeting when the offer was discussed was the lack of an appraisal of the lots to see what they were worth. A fair market value of the lots had been determined by a local real estate company in 2011, estimating the value range of the lots to be $19,275-$25,000. Based on the analysis that was done, the council set the sale price of the lots at $23,000 in order to make them affordable for LMI (low to moderate income) families.

The city had an appraisal done on all the lots that have not sold, per council direction following the October meeting. The appraisal set the value of the lots at a little over $19,000. Brothers Construction’s latest offer sets the purchase price of the lots at $25,000 each.

Under the proposed purchase, Brothers Construction has agreed to follow the covenants set for the single family detached lots. This means the size requirements for the homes will remain the same, so they would be affordable for the families that could qualify for them under the LMI program. Also, the five-year forgivable loan for a lot will still be available for qualifying LMI families. Families who do not meet the LMI requirements, but can afford to purchase the lot and build a home that qualifies, can still live in the development. However, they would not qualify for the 5-year forgivable loan program for the lot.

If the proposed purchase goes forward, there still will be seven lots that the City will still have ownership of.

Another concern council members had at the October meeting was an addendum included in the offer that gives Brothers Construction "an exclusive option to purchase all of the single family bi-attached lots in Prairie Ridge Estates at a purchase price to be mutually determined by the parties." The addendum is in place because covenants have not been set for the bi-attached lots. Brothers Construction does not want purchase the lots without knowing what the covenants are.

Councilman Dave Kuhn questioned what would happen if the city and Brothers Construction cannot come to an agreement on the price of the bi-attached lots. Amy Beattie, the city’s attorney, said Brothers Construction will have the option of whether or not to move forward with the purchase of the single family lots if they can’t reach an agreement.

If the bi-attached lots are indeed proposed to be purchased by Brothers Construction LLC, a public hearing will be held before the council votes on the sale.