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Town makes more than $30K on first property auction since 2003

Date: 8/18/2009

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

LONGMEADOW In the first sale of town-owned property since 2003, the home at 386 Bliss Rd. was sold in auction last Wednesday evening for a top bid of $137,000.

"It went really smoothly," Mary Pequignot, the town's Treasurer/Collector and Tax Title Custodian, said of the auction. "It was very exciting."

The auction itself was run by Attorney Michael Siddall of Siddall & Siddall of Springfield at the Community House. Close to 50 people turned out to watch the auction take place, and there were 10 registered bidders.

Pequignot said that with legal fees, expenses and back taxes, $102,000 was owed to the town from the property.

"We were very pleased to get what we did [at the auction]," Pequignot told Reminder Publications. "I think the purchaser and the town got a good deal."

She added that the town will be glad to see the property fixed up and back on the tax rolls.

The winner bidder was former Springfield Mayor Michael Albano, who won the property for approximately half of its last estimated value, which was $231,600, as of Jan. 14.

The auction itself started with an initial bid of $1,000. It is expected that the closing on the property will occur by Sept. 14. The money not used to pay off taxes and fees will most likely be placed in the town's General Fund for fiscal year 2010.

When asked if there were any other properties in danger of foreclosure due to the tough housing economy that might be auctioned off, Pequignot said there are some parcels being watched, but that the town will work with the property owners extensively before taking the parcels.