Orem's current quandary is more welcome than most.
The sale of several pieces of surplus property could bring in a nice bit of change - as much as $250,000.The question is what to do with it? "It's just like home, there are always more places to spend extra money than the money can go," said Phil Goodrich, director of administrative services for the city.
"The councilmen have some definite ideas."
Goodrich said Orem is currently selling a residential lot at 107 West 1200 North and a 2.5-acre parcel at 1400 N. Main Street, both at fair market value as dictated by state law.
When the possibility of sale was broached in a recent city council meeting, Councilman Timothy Christensen said he felt the proceeds should go back into land acquisition.
Acting city manager Jim Reams recommended the funds be used for street improvements since road funds were used to purchase the land on 1200 North.
He said the 1400 N. Main parcel is property left over from negotiations for the city's Windsor Park.
Mayor Stella Welsh favored putting the money into a park development fund earmarked for a park in southwest Orem.
Councilwoman Judy Bell also supported selling the city's stock of small surplus properties to help purchase property that can be used as open space and parks.
Goodrich said later there are not a lot of surplus properties, particularly properties that are not already tied to a future use or a swapping plan.
For instance, three residential lots on Main Street adjacent to 1200 South are committed as part of the redevelopment plans for that area.
Another parcel is tagged as land the city could trade for property needed as the Nielsen's Grove area is developed as a park.
The city holds 50 acres for future cemetery expansion and has another 50 "land banked" for eventual use as the Lakeside Park.
"We actually have a very small amount of true surplus available," said Goodrich. "I think there are four that fit that description."
In the past, the city would pick up surplus as bond lots but the policy now is to ask for cash bonds, said Goodrich.
Sometimes the city must buy a home or property to make way for a larger project and parcels are left over that aren't needed for the development.
Many times the pieces are oddly shaped or located where they cannot be easily accessed.
The city owns two such "slivers of property" along 1200 West, said Goodrich.
"These are byproducts we acquire as we do other things," he said.
Goodrich said he thinks the proceeds could go to improve the intersection on 1300 South and Sandhill Road.
Councilman Kelvin Clayton favored that option, especially since road funds went to purchase the 1200 North surplus in the first place but he said later he "feels very comfortable with putting the other money into open space."
Clayton said the city should not be in the property business and ought to move the surplus back into private ownership and onto the tax rolls as quickly as possible.
A motion to put the money from sale of the properties into parks and open space did not pass the council.
Goodrich was instructed, along with city legal counsel, to research and inventory the city surplus and return for further action.