The Bastrop Mayor and Board of Aldermen meet in their regular monthly meeting Thursday night in Bastrop.
Among the items discussed, was a presentation by Stephen Morel of CivicSource, a New Orleans company that hosts online auctions for adjudicated properties throughout the state. According to it's website CivicSource "is the leading auctioneer of tax-distressed real estate. From tax sales to adjudicated property auctions, CivicSource digitizes due process compliance to ensure legally valid sales."
CivicSource would list tax delinquent, adjudicated properties on it's website, and hold online auctions to sale the properties. While the delinquent taxes are not a part of the process, by selling these adjudicated properties, the City would once again have them on the tax rolls and begin receiving tax revenue from them.
According to Morel, the average price an adjudicated property sells for through the service is $5,000. This price does include closing costs and title insurance.
"It's not about the proceeds of the sale,' Morel said. "It's about getting the property back on the tax roll."
There would be no cost to the city, as whomever buys the property at auction would pay all fees associated with the transaction.
Morel said that should the city decide to move forward with the service, CiviSource would need to gain access to the tax rolls, and then it would take several months for the company to validate the adjudications and begin to sell properties.
One issue concerning online sales that was discussed was when one bidder may have better connection than another to the site. This is handled by what Morel referred to as a "sliding close' to the auction. If a competitive bid is placed within the last 5 minutes of the auction, then the closing time of the auction is extended for an additional 5 minutes. This is done over and over, to allow continued bids until there is a winner.
In other business the board granted Atmos Energy a new 15 year franchise for providing gas services in the city. The board also adopted it's Ad Valorem millage rates for the 2016 tax year. Bids were awarded for the purchase of 20, Glock Model 17 pistols, that were surplus in the Police Department, after it obtained new handguns. The high bid was $6,468.28. Hercules Anthony was also commended upon his retirement from the Public Works Department.