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Indian Ridge auctioned

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Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 8:05 am | Updated: 7:50 pm, Thu Aug 2, 2012.

BRANSON WEST — Officials almost couldn’t give Indian Ridge away.

Unable to receive a single bid for the proposed minimum value of $550,000, 25 acres of the property sold for about 70 cents on the dollar Monday in a court-ordered auction.

The winning bid of $325,000 was made by Jimmy Jones, one of several lien holders on the property.

Jones said he expected the price to be low in what he called a “fire sale.”

Jones made the bid after doing a significant amount of excavation work on the property prior to it being taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

“I’ve got so much money tied up in it,” he said.

The bidding started at $550,000, as was ordered by Stone County Judge Mark Stephens, but no bidder offered that amount on the property.

After auctioneer Larry Foster spent several minutes asking for $550,000 with no response, Stephens agreed to start the bidding lower, with the agreement he would have to approve an amount.

Jones’ initial bid was for $250,000, but Stephens said he couldn’t accept that amount, even though no other bids were made.

“That’s 50 cents on the dollar,” Stephens said. “I don’t think, in good conscience, I can take that. I don’t have a dog in this fight. I just have to do what’s fair.”

After Stephens said he would allow the price to drop to $400,000, Jones offered to split the difference between $400,000 and $250,000, arriving at the $325,000 bid.

Stephens ordered the auction following several mechanics liens filed against owners of the area of Indian Ridge commonly known as “Parcel 34.”

Construction and grading activities at the construction site, which is located off Missouri 76 near Branson West, have been stalled since at least 2009. The project reportedly halted when developer Jim Shirato’s bank, Columbian Bank and Trust in Kansas, was overtaken by the FDIC.

Dennis Wood, Stone County presiding commissioner, said he is ready to move forward, but wasn’t pleased with the low bid of the auction.

“The people of Stone County deserve better,” Wood said. “The FDIC has tied this thing up for years.”

He said whoever purchases the property needs to get with the county’s planning and zoning department.

“They need to get this blight turned around,” he said.

Jones also expressed frustration over waiting, something he expects to continue to do, now that he’s agreed to purchase the property.

“I’ve been waiting for five years,” he said.

About 800 acres, the majority of the Indian Ridge Property, was auctioned off earlier this month, with the FDIC making the winning bid of about $3.1 million.

Greg Hernandez, spokesman for the FDIC, said they will market and sell the property at a later date.

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