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Kyle Potter, Published September 12 2013

Diversion leaders consider selling three Oxbow houses

FARGO – Diversion leaders are looking to get out of the landlord game.

The Diversion Authority signaled it will look into selling the three houses in Oxbow – all of which would sit inside the proposed ring levee to be built south of the metro area – it bought from homeowners suffering medical difficulties through a process called hardship acquisition.

Two of those houses – at 105 Oxbow Drive and 744 Riverbend Road – are being rented, with leases that expire in January and February 2014, respectively.

The third, a house at 121 Oxbow Drive acquired in late July, is being prepped for rental or sale. The Diversion Authority has retained Coldwell Banker to rent out the properties it owns.

Diversion Authority Chairman Darrell Vanyo suggested that diversion leaders shouldn’t rent out houses when reselling the hardship acquisition properties is an option. He said several potential buyers in the area have inquired about the three houses.

But Clay County Commissioner and Diversion Authority member Kevin Campbell urged diversion leaders to slow down before putting the houses on the market. The alignment of the project may change, he said, and the Diversion Authority could find itself needing to buy back those houses.

“I don’t know that we should jump too soon to sell these properties,” Campbell said.

Erik Dodds, a diversion spokesman and consultant, said the Diversion Authority will continue to look at renting out houses it acquires as the proposed 36-mile flood protection channel moves forward, especially those that will eventually need to be demolished because they fall within the footprint of the Oxbow-Hickson-Bakke ring levee.

The committee also approved acquiring two more houses south of the metro through hardship acquisition. It approved the purchase of a home at 346 Schnell Drive in Oxbow for a total of $513,000, and another at 387 170th Ave. S.W. in rural Clay County for $274,000.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Kyle Potter at (701) 241-5502