LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Some hot debate and prickly words were exchanged at Lafayette City Council Monday night over a request for the city to hand over land so an automobile dealership can have a bigger employee parking lot.
Councilman Ron Campbell got out of his president's seat so he could comment.
At issue is a rectangular piece of land behind the new Bob Rohrman Toyota dealership on State Road 26. Rohrman is asking the city to vacate the property to build a larger parking lot for employees.
Campbell says the land is 8/10ths of an acre, currently assessed at $58,000 and so shouldn't be handed over for free.
"At some point in time, it has to stop. I think this would be a good time. The discrepancy between the value of that land and what the city would get in tax money," says Campbell.
But Rohrman's attorney, Joe Bumbleburg, says the parcel is not nearly that valuable and the city does have a lot to gain by giving it away.
"I would object to his philosophy that the city is giving away something that is of value because he would have you think that they didn't get anything in return. What they get in return is a huge amount of economic development," says Bumbleburg.
If the city didn't own the property, annual taxes would be nearly $500.
On first reading Monday night, the council unanimously approved vacating the property, but several council members say they will need more information before a second vote which is scheduled for next month.
As Council President, Campbell did not vote.
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