Council modifies bidding rules for lots

The Olney City Council wrangled with new rules at its Nov. 14 meeting to prevent out-of-state developers from purchasing foreclosed lots from the Texas Communities Group web site and sitting on them while encouraging hometown buyers to build homes on them. The Council has had repeatedly to turn down bids on the TCG website when buyers failed to disclose what they plan to do with the lots and when. “If the purpose of the exercise is to get people to build houses in town, Olney citizens should have first right,” Mayor Pro Tem Tom Parker said, noting that the City of Wichita Falls does not accept bids from outside Texas for its foreclosed inventory. City Administrator Arpegea Pagsuberon suggested a “scoring sheet” that awards points for bidders who are local and plan to build within a short time frame “to justify the decision” to select them over bidders who may offer more money but plan ot resell the lots. The Council approved the new plan by a vote of 6-0.