By BOB SHRALUKA
There was no auction chant ringing through council chambers in Decatur City Hall, but the bidding was relatively spirited during an unusual event held at the meeting of city council.
The city opened bids for leases on two pieces of farmland it owns. And while bids were taken prior to the meeting, the process allowed bidders to increase their offerings yet that night.
For 27.65 of tillable acres of land on County Road 450N, Craig and Mindy Fruechte (photo) bid $265 an acre while Marco Development Corp. bid $295.
Mayor/auctioneer Dan Rickord told representatives of both bidders who were on hand that they were able at that point to increase their bids.
So Mindy Fruechte boosted their bid to $310, then a Marco rep went to $315. Back and forth it went – with some pauses of 25-30 seconds in between – as Fruechte upped to $325 and Marco to $330, then Fruechte to $340 and Marco to $350.
At that point, Fruechte went to $360 and there was no response from the Marco rep, finishing it in favor of the Fruechtes.
Awarding a lease for 45.6 acres of land on CR 600N took far less time. Workinger Farms got that one with a bid of $165 per acre, higher than a bid of $150 by Jacob Campbell. No one from the latter offered an increase.