Land is returning to the city of McMinnville, while officials are also working to deed some of it away.
During a city Building and Grounds Committee meeting, city attorney Tim Pirtle informed members that the city failed to complete a land transfer to Industrial Development Board (IDB) in 2000 and land given to Warren County Habitat for Humanity by the city is being returned.
“In 2000, the city passed an ordinance conveying the former Oster site to the IDB,” said Pirtle. “The deed of conveyance that was executed and recorded only conveyed half of the property. The other half, 10 acres, remained in the name of the city. The deficiency was noted in the original description. The board passed another ordinance to authorize conveyance of the remaining tract but for whatever reason, it was never done.”
IDB director Don Alexander asked Pirtle to research the 17-year-old issue and make a determination if the land should have been deeded to IDB but wasn’t.
Pirtle said, after researching the situation with city recorder Shirley Durham, he agreed with Alexander.
“In talking with Shirley, I have confirmed that is correct,” said Pirtle. “The existing second ordinance authorizes the mayor to execute a deed. For whatever reason, that deed was never conveyed to IDB. So, I will prepare a deed and deliver it to him.”
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that works in partnership with families in need to build simple, decent homes that are sold at no profit through no-interest loans to families in Warren County. Funds, building materials, and labor are donated by individuals, churches, corporations, and other organizations who share the goal of eliminating substandard housing.
McMinnville officials donate empty lots to the organization as a way of getting the property added back onto the tax rolls and generating revenue for the city. As part of the deed restrictions, Habitat must use the land or it reverts back to the city.
The land in question lies on Mt. Leo Heights and is too steep for Habitat to build.
“Habitat wants to quit claim back to the city some lots the city previously conveyed to them that they have elected not to use,” said Pirtle. “Under the terms of the conveyance, there is a reversionary clause to the city. In any event, you might want to vote on the city taking title to the lots back. There’s certainly no reason not to.”
Committee members unanimously approved the Habitat land transfer. No action is needed for the IDB land transfer due to an ordinance already in existence.