Thursday, October 26, 2006

Park County, CO tax lien sale pays 15% return

Park County tax lien sale still on as scheduled, Kenosha Pass opens, U.S. 285 near Colorado 8 now open
Park County's tax lien sale is still planned for Friday, Oct. 27, and registration is still planned for 7 a.m.

And at about 4:10 p.m. Thursday, Park County Treasurer Michelle Miller told The Flume that she had decided to hold the sale at 8 a.m., as scheduled.

Miller had been thinking earlier Thursday that she might delay the sale by two hours because of bad snow conditions. By late Thursday , Fairplay weather was looking good enough to plan on having the sale at the same time as scheduled.

Miller said she still planned to leave a voice message confirming her decision at the following number: 719-836-4238.

The tax lien sale will be held at the South Park High School cafetorium, 640 Hathaway, in Fairplay.

The sale will likely be over by 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., according to Miller.

Dale Plume, who owns a wholesale nursery south of Hartsel called Chaparral Nursery, placed a call to The Flume with concerns about whether the tax lien sale would be held.

Plume obtained some land near Alma through a sale about 15 to 20 years ago, and he uses it for getting some aspen and spruce seedlings for his nursery business. Plume has made purchases at the Elbert County tax lien sale, with most of those purchases having been redeemed.

He said he hasn't made much money through the tax lien sales.

The interest paid is 15 percent this year on the base amount of taxes owed and the interest is not paid on any premium paid to the county by the winning bidder, said Miller.

Plus, she noted that people who, through the bidding process, pay a high premium above the listed taxes owed can actually lose money in the tax-lien-sale process because premiums are not returned by the county. She said she once had a person pay a $250 premium on a tax bill of $25.

There are high odds that there will be a redemption on a property, said Miller. That's because owners typically come up with the money to pay the back taxes.

About 200 people attended the tax lien sale last year in Fairplay, even though there was a heavy snowstorm that day, Miller said.

Kenosha Pass open and U.S. 285, just west of C-470, also now open

U.S. 285 between Fairplay and Kenosha Pass was closed Thursday about 5:25 a.m. because of snow, but it reopened at 10:30 a.m, according to Mindy Crane, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Westbound U.S. 285 was closed between State Highway 8 and Turkey Creek Canyon earlier Thursday, but around 2:15 p.m. it was reopened, according to Crane. That part of U.S. 285 is about a five-mile stretch just west of C-470, she said.

Westbound Interstate 70 between the Golden/Morrison exit and Floyd Hill was also closed earlier Thursday, but it reopened about 1:30 p.m. or 1:45 p.m., according to Crane.

Eastbound I-70 in that same stretch reopened about an hour before that, Crane said.

"Now we're starting to see more of the wet slush conditions," she said.

As of 3:15 p.m. Thursday, I-70 was closed both ways between E-470 and Burlington. Also, northbound Interstate 25, at Mile Marker 150 north of Colorado Springs, was closed as of 3:15 p.m.

According to Crane, other closures as of 3:15 p.m. Thursday included: State Highway 83 between Franktown and Colorado Springs; U.S. 36 (east of Denver) between Byers and Last Chance; U.S. 24 between Colorado Springs and Limon; State Highway 86 between Kiowa and I-70; and State Highway 94 from east of Colorado Springs to County Line Road.

Crane said that she had heard that 15 to 20 inches of snow had fallen in the Conifer-Bailey area.

At 12:50 p.m. Thursday, Flume Business Manager Lori Crawford reported 21 inches of snow at her house in the Park 80 West subdivision near Burland off of County Road 72 in Bailey.

Miller said that only five inches had fallen in Fairplay, but it was blowing there.

Mary Lee Bensman, who drove from Buena Vista to Fairplay and then Bailey on her way to Denver Thursday afternoon, arrived in The Flume offices at about 3 p.m.

"Out of the whole trip so far, the only really bad part was South Park, she said.

Between Fairplay and Kenosha Pass, she said, "it was snowpacked and the wind just made the visibility poor (with blowing snow.)"

"I put it in four-wheel drive to get through South Park," she added.

Another driver recently arrived at Flume offices from Fairplay also reported poor visibility in South Park that improved dramatically once he reached Kenosha Pass.

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