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Section 4: Sealed Bid Sales

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Overview

Note: The Right of Way Manual provides guidance for disposition of property interests that are no longer needed for state highway purposes. Unless otherwise stated, procedures outlined below apply to property interests that are no longer needed for state highway purposes.

If a GE does not want to purchase a site no longer needed for state highway purposes, then the site will be sold by sealed bid after being advertised to the general public.

For department submission requirements for this type of sale, refer to Sale of Site and Any Improvements No Longer Needed for a State Highway Purpose to a GE above.

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Procedures Prior to Bid Opening

After the ROW program office in Austin has received the department’s submission, and all the necessary concurrences and approvals have been obtained, the ROW program office in Austin can:

  • assist in preparing a Notice of Sale of State Land to be used in the newspaper ad
  • assist with understanding the terms of the Bid Form that bidders will use when submitting their sealed bids

The following procedure for selling property by sealed bid has been codified in Texas Administrative Code, Title 43, Transportation, §21.104:

  • The Notice of Sale must be advertised in the English language in at least one newspaper in the county where the land is located. The notice can be placed in multiple newspapers, even those in other counties.
  • The Notice must appear once a week for three consecutive weeks before bids are opened, with the final notice appearing at least twenty days before the bid opening.

Information packages about the property may be furnished to potential bidders upon request. Also, eight foot by ten foot wooden “For Sale” signs may be placed on the property giving a contact phone number.

The department will pay for the survey, if needed; the appraisal fee; and the newspaper and advertising costs. The successful bidder will reimburse the department for these costs as part of the bid deposit. If there is no successful bidder, these costs are absorbed by the department. Before the department proceeds with a second bid sale, check with governmental entities to determine whether they are interested in purchasing the site.

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Bid Opening

On the day of the bid opening, the department will:

  • Have the District Engineer or designee open the bids at the advertised place and time. The bids can be announced and recorded if any bidders or members of the public are present.
  • Send the ROW program office in Austin copies of all bid forms along with a recommendation for acceptance of the highest bid or for rejection of all bids. Any bid form that has been altered in any way, by addition or deletion, and any incomplete bid form will be automatically rejected.
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Review of Bids

The ROW program office in Austin reviews the bid forms and advises the department if the highest bidder’s form is acceptable. If the highest bidder is a corporation or partnership, the ROW program office in Austin will check with the Secretary of State and the Comptroller to be sure that the corporation is active and in good standing.

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Bid Deposit Checks

The department deposits the check of the highest bidder after the ROW program office in Austin advises that this bidder’s offer will be presented to the Commission.

The department returns the bid deposit checks to unsuccessful bidders. These checks are not deposited.

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