Cell tower property owner asks to buy land
James Weidenbener, whose property is the proposed site of a cell phone tower that has sparked controversy with neighbors, asked Marion city council members Monday if he could purchase property that adjoins the land he already owns.
Council member Chris Costello asked what the property is worth. City administrator Roger Holter said the land is worth about $750.
The land Weidenbener wants to buy is three acres of abandoned railroad property between the concrete plant and the Cottonwood River. It abuts his property on the east. The proposed cell tower would land on Weidenbener’s own property if it ever fell.
Weidenbener gave council members a letter that said his grandfather and great-grandmother came to Marion after his great-grandfather died.
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“Later my granddad bought land and built the house at Forest and Commercial St.,” the letter reads.
That house was later sold to Autumn Hanson, a vocal opponent of the proposed tower.
“Pat Carr has already obtained the east half for between $750 and $800 for about two acres,” Weidenbener wrote. “My offer is $1,500. It is about three acres and I realize the city has had some expenses including surveys. This offer is made with $100 good faith money and I would like to close between May 15 to June 15. I feel it would only be right for it to stay with the ground we already have.”
Holter told council members the city doesn’t have an interest in the property except for access.
“I’m not convinced at this point we’re ready to sell the property,” mayor Todd Heitschmidt said.
City attorney Susan Robson said if the city wants to sell the property, they should put a notice in the newspaper that they would accept sealed bids.
“No answer, then?” Weidenbener said.
“I think we’ll probably take some action,” Heitschmidt told him.
“Will you notify me?” Weidenbener asked.
Heitschmidt said he would be notified.
Asked after he left the meeting if his request was in relation to the cell tower, Weidenbener turned his back and walked away.