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July 27, 2017


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rich davis

Corruption at its finest. Thanks for being fiscally responsible.

Steven Mumford

I love when the response is " please call us at the office" The idea of information getting out on social media scares many to death! The days of traditional media would have NEVER reported much less asked any questions.

Leigh Ann pippin

It is my understanding that the seller would not sell just the park and the seller would not negotiate with us to purchase the property beyond their asking price of double what they sold it to the city for. Once the city had under contract, they came to us with an offer that we negotiated and settled at the current contract. The only reason we were willing to pay over the appraisal as much as we did was because we do own 1884 and the location for our residence and the parking was of great benefit to us and downtown. We are in real estate and therefore would not overpay for the building anymore than we did. As stated before, if you have buyers that are willing to purchase please have them come forward and let them talk to the City. Honestly because we have to close on or before the 13th, we are in a legally binding contract that we must comply with within that time frame. This has been going on since early December and no other buyers have come forth or expressed interest. As far as financing goes, and with my experience in real estate, the building would have to undergo major renovations for true conventional financing and financing with the city made this deal doable unless one wants to bring cash to table for it then outlay all the repairs to make it livable. Again this was not meant in any way to cause this much controversy but as a means to an end for the city to obtain the pocket park, for the downtown to retain the parking, and for us to revitalize a really cool historic building in downtown Eusis.

Vance Jochim

Leigh Ann, thanks for responding.
The issues are:
- the city did not offer the building by advertising, but selected you only without bidding.
- The city is only asking for $500 down.
- The city is not requiring you to provide "due diligence" information to confirm your ability to pay. One council member and the City Attorney said that was unwise, but Mr. Holland at two others overrode them without discussion.
- The sale of the soon to be City owned building to you was moved up to today from the 13th, giving the public or potential buyers little time to respond.
- The city could have offered and purchased just the pocket park to avoid fixing the parking as required in the lease.
- If you wanted the building, why didn't you pay the seller his asking price of $250,000 (less value of lot of $35,000) = $215,000? Why should the city do that, and then sell it to you for $160,000 (plus imputed interest for the separate financing deal)?
- The City and taxpayers lose at least $55k on this deal by overpaying the seller.

I consider this deal to be against the interests of city Taxpayers and it should be killed.
Vance Jochim

Leigh Ann pippin

Vance. We made the decision to purchase this property based on the offering of the city and have only met and communicated with the City manager, the head of Economic Development and the city attorney to put this together. We have a vested interest in downtown being a successful downtown for the City of Eustis and therefore chose to pay over the appraised value due to the fact we want to live in the property and want the parking on the street to remain the same for maximum parking for all of downtown. If you have buyers that are ready, willing and able to move forward for the purchase of this building for the same that we are paying, then we will gladly (city permitting because we are in a legally binding contract) withdraw our contract and allow the city to proceed with a purchase from one of your buyers. We in no way intended for this to become an issue but honestly wanted the property to live in and wanted to restore it to the beauty of so many buildings in downtown. If you would like to discuss this with either myself or Danny so you can produce a factual article, one or both of us would be happy to speak with you as we have yet to have any conversation so you can get our thoughts and the truth from us. Please do not hesitate to contact us and please have your buyers contact the city directly first thing in the morning so they may put in motion their purchasing of the building if they and the city can reach an agreement

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