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Dave Olson, Published April 10 2013

Dilworth finds no takers for free land

DILWORTH – Several months ago, the city of Dilworth let it be known that anyone who could come up with an idea for how to use a prime spot of downtown real estate could have it – for free.

The recipient also would get $24,000 in border-city tax credits.

Lots of people made inquiries.

But March 15, the deadline for the city to receive ideas, came and went with no serious plan coming forward.

“We were kind of disappointed we did not receive any proposals,” said Ken Parke, city administrator.

“We’ll have to take a look at Plan B, but we haven’t decided what Plan B is yet,” said Parke. “We may have to advertise it again and see what kind of interest we see.”

The 75-foot-wide by 140-foot-long vacant lot used to be the location of Oliver’s Barber Shop and an Eagles club. The city purchased the buildings and, because of their poor condition, tore them down.

The city said it would give the land free of charge to anyone who could come up with a viable use, and Parke said the $24,000 in border-city tax credits would have been money in the bank for anyone offering a winning proposal.

He said a couple of ideas city officials heard about were definitely worth looking at, but they never heard back from the would-be developers.

Rick Cariveau, a member of the City Council and owner of the Hi-Ho Tavern and Mills Lounge in Dilworth, said the land offered by the city would be a great place for something like a dental office or pet grooming service.

“Something that uses a small amount of parking; there’s a hundred possibilities,” Cariveau said.

Parke agreed.

He said the many vehicles that pass through Dilworth every day create the potential for something useful.

“It’s a great location, no question,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555