Berne eyes purchase of eyesore

    The city of Berne is one step closer to the possible purchase of the former Dunbar Furniture building, and thus one step closer to demolishing the long-standing eyesore.
    During a special meeting Thursday afternoon, council discussed a real estate certificate auction planned for today, debating whether to bid on the building and, if so, how much they were willing to pay to acquire the structure.
    City Attorney Dave Baumgartner said the Dunbar property was the subject of a tax auction held more than a year ago, during which there were no bidders. Now the building is up for certificate auction, which may be the break the city has been looking for.
    In a certificate auction, Baumgartner explained, parcels of land are open for bid, with a minimum bid of $50, and all back taxes on the property — in the case of the Dunbar site approximately $20,000 — are waived. The certificate holder must wait 120 days before doing anything with the property.
    For the complete story, see today's print or online editions.