Whispering Valley Lot

This property in Whispering Valley south of New Haven is now open for public bids.

As of the middle of the week, Franklin County still had not received any bids on a controversial piece of property.

The property is located south of New Haven in the Whispering Valley development.

County officials say they want to get rid of the property so it can be cleaned up and put back on the tax rolls.

The parcel became controversial after a Krakow man complained that the county commission originally sold the land in an unethical manner.

The commission disagreed, but agreed to seek bids on the 0.120-acre parcel to satisfy the resident’s concerns.

Bids for the property will be opened at the July 2 county commission meeting.

Those who wish to make a bid for the property must address their offers to the Franklin County Commission, 400 E. Locust St., Union. The offers should be marked “Bid on Whispering Valley Lot.”

The minimum bid is $1, and whoever gets the property must tear down the old house at the site within 60 days of closing the sale. Missouri Department of Natural Resources guidelines must be upheld during the disposal and demolition of the house.

The county will pay the closing costs on the property sale.

Controversy over the property arose when the county commission voted to sell the property to Chris Boone for $1 with the condition the house be torn down.

Krakow resident Dean Riegel complained that the land deal with Boone was done “under the table” and through a “buddy system.”

Riegel said not everyone was given a chance to buy the property for $1.

County officials strongly disagree with Riegel’s claims that not everyone was given a chance to buy the parcel.

The property was offered in a public tax sale three times with no bids received. However, when the land was offered in the tax sales, the price was significantly higher because it covered the back taxes.

When the county decided to sell the property for $1 with the condition that the house be torn down, there should have been another call for public interest, Riegel said.

Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer said he also had offered the property to neighboring property owners in Whispering Valley for $1, but they did not agree to take it.

The county was left searching for other ways to dispose of the land. First District County Commissioner Tim Brinker said he approached Boone about the land deal at a Franklin County Municipal League event.

After Riegel made an issue out of the land sale, Griesheimer and Brinker said it appeared as though Riegel may have made an issue out of the land deal because Boone is his ex-brother-in-law. Riegel denies this.