One of the bidders who won a residence in the city's tax lien auction appeared at Monday's city council meeting and accused the city of violating the terms of the purchase contract.
Daniel Lang's father is actually listed as the winning bidder on 20 Franklin St., but Lang said he was planning to pay for the house and move in with his family.
However, he said, the city failed to honor its purchase contract with him by not closing the deal within 30 days of the Jan. 29 auction.
"We want to pull out of the contract and have our $10,000 deposit refunded," Lang said. "The contract is no longer valid."
City Attorney George Van Nest demurred.
It would be inaccurate, Van Nest said, to say the contract was no longer valid or that the 30 day period had been violated because the purchase cannot be approved until the council has a chance to meet and review the purchase.
"This is the next opportunity for the council to act on real property sales," Van Nest said. "To the extent that the council does move forward, the purchase can be finalized."
The winning bid was $36,000.
As Van Nest spoke, Lang and his father were nearly coming out of their chairs wanting to speak again, but under meeting rules, their time to speak was over.
The contract reads:
TERMS OF THE AUCTION: The property is sold subject to confirmation and approval by the City Council of the City of Batavia within thirty days (30) days hereof.
After a closed session to discuss the real estate transaction, the council voted to approve the sale.
After the meeting Lang, who moved back to Batavia recently from South Carolina, said he and his wife, along with their children, have been living with his parents. With the sale now approved, he said he doesn't know what he's going to do, whether to insist the contract was voided by the lack of action for 30 days, or just accept the approved sale.
He said he and his wife just want to get into their own house as soon as possible.
"We just want to get back to being a normal family again," Lang said.
In all, the council approved the auction purchase of four properties, including 507 Ellicott St., which was won by a company owned by Jeremy Yasses.
Council members Sam Barone and Bob Bialkowski objected to the sale of the property to Yasses, but a motion by Bialkowski to consider the property separately from the other purchases was defeated on a 7-2 vote.
Diana Page was approved to purchase 308 Washington Ave. for $1,800 as well as 48 Riverview Parkway for $100. Tom Englerth was approved for purchase of 21 South Lyon St.
In the city report on past landowner code violations, Englerth was allegedly cited for putting on a roof without a permit. He did eventually get a permit, according to the report.
That alleged violation came on 9 Willow Ave., the same property Englerth was able to purchase after a bid from local landlord Michael Pullinzi was rejected last year by the council for allegedly having too many code violations on his existing properties.