OSCODA – The Oscoda Board of Trustees agreed to sell the Huron Shores Artisan Hall for $200,000 to Oscoda residents David and Ann Rataj during the regular board meeting Monday.

The township first received an offer from Vincent Iler, owner of Vinnie’s Do It Best hardware store, in the amount of $100,000. The township then received a second letter of interest (LOI) via email from the Ratajs for $200,000. 

But there was some confusion as to whether the email could be considered a legally binding offer, since the township currently doesn’t have a defined process for selling publicly owned properties. With Iler’s offer still unanswered, board members voted to counter his offer at $200,000 during the Feb. 8 regular meeting.

Since then, the Ratajs worked with Economic Improvement Director Todd Dickerson to create a formal LOI, offering to buy the Artisan Hall once again for $200,000. The couple also included proof of funds from their bank, showing that they can pay cash for the building. 

According to Monday’s meeting packet, Iler wrote back to Superintendent Michael Mitchell and countered the board’s offer at $110,000. During Monday’s meeting, board members voted to reject this offer. Treasurer Jaimie McGuire made the motion, with support from Clerk Joshua Sutton, and it passed unanimously without discussion.

Before moving forward with the Ratajs’ offer, the board questioned whether they would owe a commission to Friedman Real Estate, whose original listing of the Artisan Hall had since expired. Renewing that contract was also on Monday night’s agenda, but the board members said they had second thoughts since Friedman had created a number of errors in different listings for the township. 

“We think that Friedman ought to adjust their fee downward due to a number of errors that they’ve made,” Mitchell said. “Even in just this listing contract, the date’s wrong, the appendixes are wrong, so to me some number less than $5,000 is appropriate.” 

Interim Attorney Matt Wojda said if the township takes action on the offer, they would have to postpone renewing the listing agreement in order to negotiate what the commission would be. 

“There is no current agreement in place with Friedman, and so it seems that the offer from Rataj should’ve come directly to the township since there was no listing agreement in place at the time that they submitted the offer,” Wojda said, adding that he would like to review the contract further before deciding whether or not to renew it.

Trustee Bill Palmer made the motion to accept the Rataj’s offer of $200,000, and Trustee Steve Wusterbarth asked if he would include an earnest deposit of $10,000 and closing within 60 days. Palmer agreed to add that to the motion, and Wusterbarth seconded it, receiving a 7-0 vote.

Following that, Trustee Jeremy Spencer made a motion to postpone the renewing of the contract with Friedman until the next regular board meeting, to discuss what fees are owed, if any, for the sale of the Artisan Hall. Wusterbarth seconded it, and it passed 7-0.

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