HERMON, Maine - Two local businesses facing foreclosure are scheduled to be sold at auction this month, but there still is time to save the properties, according to one of the owners.
Mother and daughter Jacqueline and Morita Tapley own Morgan Hill Event Center and Tapley Pools Inc., which will be auctioned by Tranzon Properties on Aug. 4 and Aug. 13, respectively, unless another investor can be found.
“We obviously are trying very hard to save these companies from auction,” Jacqueline Tapley said Thursday.
After opening more than a year ago, Morgan Hill has hosted weddings, parties, business functions, and community events. The 21,560-square-foot event center was constructed in 2006 and is valued by the town at $1.7 million. The property includes almost 20 acres with 450 feet of road frontage on Route 2 that’ s worth more than $190,000, according to the online Tranzon bid package.
The site is listed under the town’ s village commercial zoning district. In addition to the existing event center, it is permitted for an 18-unit residential planned unit development.
The Tapleys failed to pay their 2007 property tax bill, which was due in April of this year. Interest on that bill has been accumulating since July 9, and the total now due is $21,644. The back taxes will need to be paid by whomever purchases the property.
Tapley said the economy hasn’ t been kind, and building Morgan Hill in the wake of Hurricane Katrina didn’ t help. The family couldn’ t back out because the business plan already was in motion, but the price of building materials spiked, making it a more expensive endeavor than anticipated.
“It’ s just a sad, sad story,” Tapley said. “Anyone that’ s been there realizes it’ s a magnificent post and beam building. [For an investor] it would be a high return on their investment.”
A deposit of $50,000 cash or certified check is required. That deposit will increase to 10 percent of the purchase price within five days of the auction. Closing must be complete within 45 days.
Morgan Hill currently has reservations stretching into 2009, but Tapley said some people have called to cancel because they’ re worried about what’ s going to happen.
“It’ s very, very scary for everyone concerned,” Tapley said.
Nearby Tapley Pools at 2717 Route 2 is in the same boat. The business has been around for much longer — 44 years, according to Tapley — but is a much smaller property. At about 2.4 acres, the lot on the corner of Route 2 and Annis Road holds several buildings, including a Cape house built in about 1900 and a barn-style building used to house the Tapleys’ swimming pool design business.
“It’ s the first time in 44 years that it’ s ever been this serious,” Tapley said.
Also on the property is a mobile home with a 16-foot by 32-foot in-ground pool.
The land and buildings are valued at a combined $204,000 with an outstanding tax bill from the town for about $2,300.
A $10,000 cash or certified check deposit is required to bid on the Tapley Pools property with the same post-auction requirements as those at Morgan Hill.
Complete information regarding both auctions may be found at Tranzon’ s Web site at www.tranzon.com.
“We just are struggling beyond belief trying to solve this before that blasted auction,” Tapley said.