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Posted: 02/19/14

FOR SALE? The Village of Romeo Board of Trustees is evaluating its properties, like the former Bruce-Romeo Fire Department hall on S. Rawles Street, to see whether they can be sold for revenue. A total of six properties are under consideration for public sale.

(Observer photo by Chris Gray)

Romeo trustees consider
sales of village property

Observer Staff Writer
      Romeo is looking to enter the real estate market in the hopes of selling village-owned land for revenue.
       The Village Board of Trustees formed a committee on Feb. 10 to examine six properties with the idea of putting them up for sale as early as this spring.
       Village President Mike Lee said the village doesn't own a lot of properties that are conducive to building, but could sell them to bring in needed revenue.
       "Property values are coming back, but not substantially," said Lee, a Realtor by trade. "We're still having problems with appraisals in real estate."
       In addition to revenue, the village would no longer have to mow or remove snow on the properties, saving some expenses in the long run.
       A total of six properties are being evaluated, four of which are residential and two that are commercial. The majority of the residential land was purchased from Macomb County in July 2012.
       The Mussey Street property is 0.55 acres, which Lee said could potentially be split into two lots with water and sewer. It was bought for $6,661 from the county.
       The First Street property is an L-shaped lot just under three acres bought for $6,140 in an exempt sale in 2012. Lee said it could be split multiple times, but ordinances and the Subdivision Control Act would have to be addressed.
       "My goal is always to make sure that we're getting the most out of every sale that we possibly can," he said.
       Lee called a .04 acre lot on Dickenson Street "pie-shaped" that the village obtained for $839 from the county. He said the resident living next door is maintaining it.
       Romeo's Sisson Street property is 1.2 acres that was the former site of the Romeo Department of Public Works (DPW). The site was cleaned by the village upon the DPW's relocation to Powell Road.
       The commercial properties are the former Bruce-Romeo Fire Department hall on S. Rawles Street and the former WBRW Channel 6 studio on Walter Sheetz Drive off of Morton Street. Lee said the most recent commercial property sales have gone for $50 to $102 per square foot.
       Lee said the 2,500 square-foot cable studio could be utilized for a variety of different purposes, but Parks and Recreation has not expressed interest in it due to the community center under development in Washington Township.
       "It is still quite a substantial structure," Lee said.
       The 5,000 square-foot fire hall has small living quarters, but is located in the central business district.
       Village Clerk Marian McLaughlin said any of the properties would have to be put up for public sale, though whether it must be done by ordinance is being investigated.
       A committee of Lee and Trustees Bob Hart and Russell Rinke will examine the properties and determine whether the village will move ahead with any sales.
       "I think that we should really think about putting these up for sale and investigating," Rinke said.

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