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Quarry sale on hold to study new offer

Monday, September 29, 2014 by Elizabeth Pagano

In a dramatic turn of events, a late, private offer to purchase city land may have gained some traction, putting the proposed sale of a quarry to a neighboring municipality in limbo for the time being.

The sale of a 215-acre quarry at 15700 Anderson Mill Road has been put on hold. City Council was asked to approve the sale to the City of Cedar Park for $4.1 million. Brad McKenzie, the CFO of Ranger Excavating and current tenant of the quarry, told Council that his company would like to purchase the land at “substantially more” than the proposed sale price.

This caught the interest of Council Member Mike Martinez, who was reminded of the sale of 64 Rainey St., saying, “Here we are again, with another piece of property that is owned by the city that’s made it onto our agenda with no input at all, no process at all. And here we have someone else willing to purchase it.”

Real Estate Office Director Lauraine Rizer said the city had been working to sell the tract for the past few years, and all other offers it had heard had been around $1 million until last week. Rizer also said she understood from Council that her office should prioritize working with other governmental properties.

McKenzie said that Ranger Excavating would pay $5 million, right now, for the property, but had been told the city couldn’t sell the land to a nongovernmental entity without going through a bidding process.

If this is indeed the case, Rizer said that Cedar Park would take the opportunity to match the bid. Rizer explained that, at this point, the city has the option of selling the land to Cedar Park or opening the sale to a bidding process. Council voted to send the item through its Audit and Finance Committee to take a look at those options.

“If we have another buyer who is willing to entertain substantially more of an offer than what is on the table,” Rizer said, “then I think it’s just prudent to hear that out.”

The sale has been postponed until Oct. 23.

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