Door Stop Bid Falls Short, But Options Still Open

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Whether The Door Stop is moving to Payson could be decided during an executive session to consider its bid for property in the Sky Park Industrial Park when the Payson Town Council convenes at 6 p.m. Thursday.

In the meantime, lawyers from the town and the cabinet door manufacturer are meeting this week to try to negotiate terms of the sale of the five-acre parcel of town-owned land south of Payson Municipal Airport, Town Manager Rich Underkofler said.

At issue, Underkofler said, is the Chandler-based company's $180,000 bid which is $45,000 below the town's minimum required bid of $225,000.

"The proposal we received does not meet the minimum price and is not consistent with the town's specifications," the town manager said. "If it were up to me, I would regard it as unresponsive and disqualify it, but that's not how a majority of the council feels," he said. "The majority of the council wants to do a deal."

That's why, he said, attorneys for the two sides are trying to hammer out a compromise.

While the council set the minimum bid price at $225,000, it also indicated that "... economic benefits accruing from each bid" would be considered.

Although The Door Stop's purchase bid fell short, it included a number of economic incentives. For each of those incentives not achieved by Dec. 31, 2002, the company would pay an additional $3,000 a year for up to four years. The incentives are:

Build, maintain and continue to own a manufacturing facility having a combined acquisition and development cost of not less than $1 million.

Employ a minimum of 35 people.

Maintain an average annual salary of $25,000.

According to Underkofler, a significant problem with The Door Stop's bid is that even if the company failed to meet all the economic performance objectives, it would still end up paying only the $225,000 minimum bid price for the land.

"We had proposed to take a lien on the difference, and they deleted that," Underkofler said.

James Hill, owner of The Door Stop, did not return telephone calls Monday.

Following the executive session, the council will consider selling the land to The Door Stop or rejecting the bid outright.

Other items on the Thursday evening agenda include consideration of a request from Administrative Services Director Kelly Udall to pay a $150 a month stipend to employees who speak fluent Spanish. According to Udall's request, Spanish speaking skills "are frequently used and recognized by the town as desirable and necessary ... to conduct daily business."

Underkofler said the impetus behind the measure is that people who speak fluent Spanish are hard to find. "Most cities in the Valley already do it," he said, "and we're getting more and more of our citizens who are Spanish speaking."

The council also will consider entering into a lease agreement for office space to house a Main Street Project Office at 501 West Main Street. At its last meeting, the council voted to table the lease agreement when the owner of the property balked at granting the town an extended lease.

The consensus of the council was that the $12,000 the town planned to spend to upgrade the property should be reciprocated through favorable terms for a five-year lease. As of Tuesday, Underkofler said the owner had not offered to change his position.

In other action, the council will consider approving commercial rehabilitation guidelines for Main Street facade improvements, a program that is expected to cost $100,000. The purpose of the program is to improve building conditions and appearances and enhance business opportunities in the Green Valley Redevelopment Area.

Landscape and streetscape improvements, building facade improvements, certain sign improvements and exterior improvements related to the Americans With Disabilities Act would be eligible under the program, which would be funded by the Community Development Block Grant Program and other sources.

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