FORT SMITH, Ark. (TB&P) — After months of discussion and two votes, the Fort Smith Board of Directors voted to sell the city-owned property that is the former River Valley Sports Complex. At its regular meeting Tuesday (Jan. 21) directors voted four to three for a resolution to sell 68.15 acres of property at Chaffee Crossing formerly designated for the controversial and defunct River Valley Sports Complex project for $210,273 to XFED Commercial Properties.
The same board voted four to three against the sale at the Dec. 17 regular board meeting. At that time, the majority of the directors were against selling the property for significantly less than the $640,000 the property was appraised at in 2019. When directors discussed the sale of the property in December, Director Lavon Morton (Ward 3) and Director Andre Good (Ward 2) wanted a “clawback” provision in the sale that would keep the buyers from being able to immediately sell the property for a profit.
“Discussion we had a last meeting for a clawback provision has been included (in the sale). If the buyer doesn’t make significant improvements and sells the property for more than $400,000 within three years, then the city will receive 50% of the sale amount over $400,000,” said Deputy City Administrator Jeff Dingman.
During discussion of the sale, Morton said the clawback provision included does not accomplish what it needs to accomplish.
“This transaction is exceedingly complex to actually try to appraise. I have spent a considerable amount of time studying the appraisals,” Morton said. “It is not in the best interest of citizens of Fort Smith to sell something appraised at $640,000 for $210,000.”
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