City councilors gunned down proposals Tuesday to buy a house on Dutton Avenue and buildings behind City Hall owned by the Lepore family
But it remains possible the city will reconsider the purchase of the 15 Dutton Ave. house owned by the Bevivino family, though probably not for the $218,000 price set by a judge early in 2008.
Councilors said they would not have considered the purchase had they known of an appraisal that set the house’s value $43,000 below the judicial decree’s figure, a document disclosed recently by The Bristol Press.
“We’re not going to pay $218,000,” city Councilor Cliff Block said, since the appraisal set the value at $175,000.
Councilors sent the Dutton Avenue issue back to committee to figure out what, if anything, the city should do next.
The proposed purchase of the Lepore property, which councilors backed several years ago, was unanimously rejected this time.
“We are not interested in purchasing it,” said city Councilor Frank Nicastro, who heads the Real Estate Committee.
Independent mayoral candidate Gary Lawton was among those urging the city to keep its hands off the Dutton Avenue property, which is embroiled in a family dispute.
“Why are we getting in the middle of a family squabble?” Lawton asked. “We really need to let that house alone.”
Michael Dudko, a member of the Bugryn family who fought unsuccessfully to prevent the city from seizing land for an industrial park, said the city “does take advantage of family situations” to get property it desires.
He said the house on Dutton Avenue is “not important” for neighboring Rockwell Park and should be allowed to remain in private hands.
City Councilor Ken Cockayne said the city “can’t afford” to pursue the house until better times. He was the only councilor to vote to kill the proposal outright. The rest agreed to send it back to the three-person real estate panel.
Nicastro said councilors have tried hard to avoid becoming embroiled in the family’s disagreement that was spurred by the desire of one of four siblings to buy the house. She offered $175,000 to her brothers and sisters last week, but it was apparently rejected.
Jan Bevivino, who wants to buy the house, urged the city to abandon any thought of buying the place.
“Why don’t you just back out now?” she yelled from the audience as councilors discussed the issue.
Nicastro expressed disappointment that the rest of her family or their attorney were not present to join the debate.
He said it would be fine with him if the family opted to sell the house to Jan Bevivino.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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