The Casper City Council decided Tuesday to reconsider the sale of the former Plains Furniture properties at its Nov. 5 meeting.

Last week, the resolution failed on a tie vote to sell the 15 related properties including the former furniture building that also was the home of a 1920s-era car dealership.

The central issue was the sale price of $500,000 for a building that had been appraised at $1.5 million, which critics on the council said the taxpayers would take a loss of $1 million.

At its work session Tuesday, council member and sale proponent Bob Hopkins said he talked to a lot of people since then.

Hopkins said people didn't understand that last week's action was the final step of approval.

While the debate was thorough over the merits of the sale, he said the council did not have the opportunity to talk about the longterm economic effects if the prospective buyer were to develop into commercial and residential space, the jobs, and the effect on the Old Yellowstone District and downtown.

Last week, Brandon Daigle, an architect and partner with FLAG Development, showed slides of the history of the more than 30,000-square-foot building, and its interior features. FLAG would have demolished a century-old livery on South Ash Street and re-exposed the original building. FLAG also intended to sell some of the properties, and build a three-story building with a total of 18 residential units, he said.

 

Mayor Charlie Powell said there was no reason to debate the pros and cons of the sale. "Everyone’s had a chance to think about it."

He asked council members to give a thumbs up or down.

Seven council members gave it a thumbs up to reconsider it. Ken Bates, who ardently opposed the sale, held his hands across his chest. Steve Freel, who has possible real estate business in the area, abstained.

"We’ll add it to the agenda and discuss it again," Powell said.