Land purchase confusion costs town millions

The town of North Myrtle Beach has filed a lawsuit against two men involved in a messy land deal that saw the town pay over two million dollars for property worth a quarter of that amount.North Myrtle Beach in 2007 put forward $1.2 million to lease property for a new library with an extra $500 thousand to buy the property once its then-owner died. However, because of misunderstandings, developer Joe Garell received all of the money for his stake of a lease on the property. Now the town is suing Garell and attorney Roger Roy for their involvement. The city claims Garell was supposed to use his payment to buy the property and that Roy should have put the half-million in an escrow account for the later land purchase.
However, Roy says he was never told to use the money for anything other than a lease and Garell said he wasn’t told to buy the property completely. The town was not aware that the half million was missing until the property’s owner died last September. On Friday, the town set aside an additional $400,000 to buy the property—meaning that more than $2 million was been spent on property worth a little over $400,000.

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