Number gap

Town, Stevens still far apart on settlement price


Saratoga Mayor Ed Glode sounded confident that the Randy Stevens affair was finally about to be put to rest at the April 5 town council meeting.

“We should be done with this We just aren’t quite all the way done with it yet,” Glode said of a deal between the town of Saratoga and the owner of Quality Landscape and Nursery. Stevens and the town have been embroiled in a legal battle since 2007. A new mayor and a new director of public works have inherited the web of suits and countersuits that was initiated nine years ago by the town of Saratoga.

“In essence, the town of Saratoga will own the property,” Glode said at the meeting.

All of the court orders and lawsuits and everything are going to go away between the town of Saratoga and Quality Landscape and Randy Stevens,” the mayor continued. “We’ve drafted a purchase agreement that we’re proof reading and finalizing (for the 10 lots in question),” Glode said.

Glode told the assembled council that the purchase price for the entire 10-lot area, is $115,000.

Randy Stevens, it turned out, had a different figure in mind.

On April 6, Stevens provided the Saratoga Sun with a copy of the purchase agreement his attorney Jim Salisbury had drawn up. That document listed a purchase price of $1,533,240, with $150,000 to be paid up-front by the town.

The confusion, it appears, stems from a sentence in an agreement dated February 11, 2016, that was signed by Glode and Stevens. The agreement states “the price of the property is based as per square foot of the Town of Saratoga’s appraised total value of $115,00.00 placed on the south property.”

“When I signed the agreement, I was under the impression the purchase price was $115,000,” Glode said April 11. Stevens’ counsel, on the other hand, took the sentence to mean that a 2,700 square foot half-alley was worth $115,000. Extrapolating from that figure, Stevens arrived at a square foot price of $42.59. Stevens then applied that square-foot-price to the entire 10-lot space he proposes to sell to the Town of Saratoga, arriving at his roughly $1.53 million figure.

Both Stevens and Glode said they had been trying to contact each other since these differences emerged.

With the two parties so far apart on price, what once looked like the final chapter of an expensive and exhausting lawyer’s duel may turn out to be just another twist.

“Maybe we’re back to square one,” Glode said in a phone interview April 11. “I don’t know where we go from here,” the mayor concluded.

Unless the two sides reach an agreement soon, the answer to that question may well be arrived at in a court room.


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