On paper, a four-party mutual release and settlement might seem like a pretty routine matter.
But on second glance, the five-step procedure, recently approved by the Greencastle Board of Works, appears as convoluted as a late-game Monopoly maneuver.
In fact, the process might as well have involved Monopoly money.
The whole thing started to evolve soon after the old Ball Brothers zinc mill was torn down at the northeast corner of Zinc Mill Road and Veterans Highway.
The property was platted as the Zinc Mill Park PUD, the planned unit development that now includes the license branch, HOP, Greencastle Physical Therapy, Millpond Health Campus and others. At the same time, a portion of it was platted as a street for the possible extension of Avenue F some day.
However, the platted parcel for the street was never deeded over to the city. And when the developer, Rena Corp., didn't pay taxes on it (assuming it belonged to the city), it ended up getting into the Putnam County delinquent tax sale.
That's where M. Jewell LLC purchased the property for $3,486.53. Certainly not Boardwalk or Park Place pricing.
The transaction only became an issue when the purchaser petitioned for the undeveloped street to be vacated. That raised red flags with city officials.
It also set in motion what became a mutual release and settlement agreement between Putnam County, the City of Greencastle, Rena Corp. (the developer) and M. Jewell LLC (the buyer/petitioner).
Jewell agreed to invalidate the tax sale, Putnam County agreed to that invalidation and also agreed to refund the purchase price.
So according to terms of the agreement, the following five steps are unfolding:
-- Putnam County agrees to refund $3,486.53 to M. Jewell.
-- Rena Corp. agrees to pay $1,109.19 to M. Jewell.
-- M. Jewell agrees to cooperate with the invalidation of tax sale.
-- Rena Corp. agrees to dedicate the parcel to the City of Greencastle.
-- The City of Greencastle agrees to accept the dedication.
Additionally, the parties all released each other from any and all present or future known or unknown costs and expenses arising from any potential causes of action.
The Board of Works subsequently voted to endorse the agreement by empowering Mayor Sue Murray to sign the paperwork.
And no, it does not include the provision, "Do not pass Go, do not collect $200."