Court delay complicates NC’s Sugarloaf Mountain purchase |

Court delay complicates NC’s Sugarloaf Mountain purchase

Another delay in the process to acquire Sugarloaf Mountain could jeopardize the sale to Nevada City for open space, officials said.

A probate hearing set for Sept. 29 was delayed by the judge for undisclosed reasons until Oct. 22; the city cannot move forward with the sale until the judge approves it.

The probate step is a technicality allowing the joint owners of the 30-acre property to sell without a lengthy public bidding process, according to Kriss Halpern, manager for part-owner Sugarloaf Properties LLC.

Halpern is confident the sale will go through, even while the city is fast approaching a March 2011 deadline for spending nearly $400,000 in grant funding.

“I think it’s a complete non-issue,” Halpern said. “We’re ready, willing and able to sell.”

Meanwhile, “we have a back-up plan” for the use of the federal grant money intended for Sugarloaf, said City Manager Gene Albaugh.

In September, council members prioritized a list of alternative projects should the sale fall through.

The city earlier hit a snag when Nevada County Board of Supervisors Chairman Nate Beason cast doubt on the city’s plan to use $71,000 in county-administered bond money to help pay for Sugarloaf. The city and the property owners agreed to a price of $450,000.

“We’re looking at alternatives,” Albaugh said about the funding gap.

Sugarloaf Mountain is just north of downtown. The city wants to buy 30 acres at the top of the mountain to preserve as public, open space.

To contact Staff Writer Michelle Rindels, e-mail or call (530) 477-4247.

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