Sheriff#039;s auction brings in #036;755,000

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 3, 2004

Bidding was fast and competitive for approximately 20 to 25 people who showed up for a Sheriff's Department auction Friday

at the Lawrence County Courthouse.

The auction was for four tracts of land containing rental properties and a storage unit business in Burlington.

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During the fifth and last phase of the auction, bidding for all of the property started at $634,267 with several people repeatedly placing bids until the field was whittled down to two men.

Ironically, the Burlington businessman who placed the top bid has the same last name as the former owner. Gary L. Morrison placed the final bid of $755,000 that will give him ownership of approximately 10 rental properties and Morrison Rent-A-Space. The storage center contains 125 units.

As luck would have it, Morrison's "bidding limit" he had given himself before the auction was the amount that bought the four tracts of land and everything on it.

Renters do not have to worry that Morrison is going to do something with the property other than what it is already being used for.

"I'm not kicking anyone out," Morrison said.

Gary Morrison was walking around and meeting some of Tim Morrison's tenants Saturday and talking with the former owner.

Ann Curry-Dick, a current tenant in one of the apartment rentals, is on a liver transplant waiting list because of a terminal illness and has lived in the apartment for four months. She met her new landlord during Morrison's Saturday perusal of the property.

"I didn't think there could be another Tim, but I felt immediately he had a caring and giving heart. He's going to be a compassionate type of landlord. He'll be a big help to me because he has offered his assistance," she said.

The property was foreclosed by Liberty Federal Savings after about a year the original complaint was filed by default.

The Morrisons started building their first set of buildings in the 1980s and Mary Morrison ran a word-processing business

from the family home for many years.