Jefferson County structures in Quilcene made surplus, set for sale

Official: House, small building could be moved elsewhere

PORT TOWNSEND — Two structures on Jefferson County property on Rodgers Street in Quilcene were deemed surplus by the county commissioners Monday and will be offered for sale.

There were no comments made during a public hearing on the matter. A 1,220-square-foot house and a small additional structure at 231 Rodgers St. will be offered to a governmental agency or housing authority, or sold at a live auction with a minimum price set at $500.

The .67-acre property with structures was purchased as part of a floodplain management program for the Big Quilcene River last July for $150,000.

The two-story house was built in 1943. The additional structure is less than 100 square feet.

Typically structures are demolished after such property is acquired, but county staff said they felt the home and building have some value and can be moved off-site and reused.

In order to sell the structures, the county had to first declare them surplus. The land will remain under county ownership.

Another in area

County Treasurer Stacie Prada said another home at 161 Rodgers St. in the same floodplain was deemed surplus and a sealed bid auction was held a few months ago.

She said no bids were offered. It is currently on hold but might be resurrected soon.

Prada said the sealed bid process was not successful.

The approved resolution gives Prada the authority to hold either a live auction or sealed bid process.

“The feedback we received was maybe a live auction would make more sense. Some people thought some people were bidding, and others thought they were. We might do a live auction like we do for our foreclosures. You would direct the treasurer to proceed with the sale of it.

“Sealed bids come in and it’s done at the commissioners’ meeting. We go back, make sure the bids comply and then come back. For a live auction, I would manage it, run it and complete it that day. They would need to provide funds in a certain amount of time.”

Prada said the county can hold private negotiation with intergovernmental sales.

“The Peninsula Housing Authority would qualify as one of those sales,” she said. “I will reach out to other entities that are able to purchase in the area. We had no interest in the other home, but we will go through that step as well.”

The idea of a minimum bid was discussed, and Prada said they want to make sure the purchase is completed and the structures are moved off the property.

“It isn’t a money maker,” she said. “It’s more of a money saver because we don’t demolish the structures and dispose of them. The minimum bid established at $500 covers the expenses of legal notices and likely recording and transferring property.”

As for the house at 161 Rodgers St., the issue that limits the sale, according to Prada, is the range of where it can go. She said due to a rule by the state Department of Transportation a permit will only be granted to move a home on a highway for up to 5 miles.

“It’s a bit hard to get out of Quilcene if you’re not on [U.S. Highway] 101,” she said.

Tammy Pokorny, Environmental Health Natural Resources program coordinator, said the county has been acquiring property in the floodplain area since the 1990s. She said there also is ownership by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement group downstream and the Skokomish Tribe upstream.

There is funding available to help with the restoration efforts, taking on a long-term management expense through grants and matches.

“For the foreseeable future, I was hoping to stay with the established pattern of the county acquiring the properties in this area,” Pokorny said.

________

Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at jmcmacken@peninsuladailynews.com.

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