Klause Enterprises building on former car lot

The 1973 building on the 1.86-acre Klause Enterprises property between 16th and 17th streets and Haven and Simpson avenues in Ocean City. 

OCEAN CITY — The City Clerk’s Office has received an amended petition to force a referendum vote on funding a $9 million land buy, said city spokesman Doug Bergen.

The petition was submitted Monday by representatives of the local group Fairness in Taxes, Bergen said, and the clerk is reviewing it.

The petition seeks a public vote on the funding ordinance for the proposed purchase of 1.86 acres of a former car dealership lot next to the Ocean City Community Center, said Bergen.

The land is owned by Klause Enterprises, which is controlled by brothers Harry and Jerry Klause.

FIT President Dave Hayes could not be reached for comment.

Hayes has said FIT believes the city should buy the land, but not for $9 million. The group believes appraisals that came in at $8.3 million and $9 million used unrealistic assumptions and poor comparison sales.

Bergen said a third appraisal recently came in at $9.07 million.

The property and car dealership building were assessed at a total value of about $3.4 million.

The mayor and administration will reserve comment until the review is complete, said Bergen.

Early this month the City Clerk said the first petition submitted had too few signatures of people registered to vote in the city.

City Clerk Melissa G. Rasner sent a letter to Hayes then, saying she found the petition had 399 valid signatures out of 467. But she said the group needed 597.

Contact: 609-272-7219 mpost@pressofac.com

Twitter @MichelleBPost

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Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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