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CLAY COUNTY —  While Clay County commissioners voted down a purchase contract for land owned by a commissioner campaign contributor in Gladstone, no final decision on the future of the Annex was reached as expected Monday, July 15.

Commissioners on Monday voted with two against the motion and one abstention, resulting in a failed resolution to purchase nearly five acres located on three tracts of land surrounding the QuikTrip at Missouri Highway 1/Prospect Avenue and 72nd Street that is owned by Bill Mann and WB, LLC.

The cost for proposed property stood at roughly $1.6 million.

Those against the purchase were Presiding Commissioner Jerry Nolte and Eastern Commissioner Luann Ridgeway. As promised in previous commission sessions because of his affiliation with Bill Mann, Western Commissioner Gene Owen abstained from the vote.

Nolte voted against the purchase for reasons he stated in previous public meetings including a lack of public input and inability of the county to take care of current property.

“We are treating the public with a lack of respect,” he said Monday.

Action on other potential Annex site purchases was squashed by a majority of the commission when a motion by Eastern Commissioner Luann Ridgeway to move them from action items to discussion items passed 2-1 with Owen and Ridgeway voting in favor and Nolte against.

The other properties included land previously discussed that is owned by Bob Becker and Chuck Calvert at North Brighton Avenue and Missouri Highway 152 and two options new to the Annex location debate as of July. New options are: construction of a possible facility of upward of 60,000 square feet at North Oak Trafficway and Northeast 69th Street in downtown Gladstone, which would result in a partnership between the county and city of Gladstone; and purchase of a nearly 4.2-acre lot at the corner of Highway 152 and North Brighton that is represented by Windfield Real Estate of Kansas City.

Ridgeway said the motive for her motion to change the agenda was to provide more time to hear from the public on land purchases not previously considered. Moving them from action items to discussion items would allow for that, she said.

In addition, Ridgeway said she voted against the Gladstone project near QuikTrip because the votes were not there regardless of whether she liked it not.

The commission will meet next at 10 a.m. Monday, July 22, but it is unclear if a decision on the Annex will be on the agenda.

More details will be published as they become available.

Managing Editor Amanda Lubinski can be reached at amanda.lubinski@mycouriertribune.com or 903-6001.

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