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Mount Vernon Council Debates Deposit Refund

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The Mount Vernon City Council debated whether or not to refund a deposit paid by a couple whose plans to purchase 23 Vernon Place fell through.

The couple, whose names were not released, is asking for some of their $62,250 deposit, which they put down after winning the property at a city auction. Council member Karen Watts-Yehudah said that it is too much to lose for one couple and they should get some of their money back. However, other members of the city council said that if the city were to give the couple a break it would set a precedent for other people in the city who find themselves in a similar situation.

Still, Watts-Yehudah said that in this day and age, times are different and cannot be gauged against what happened 10 years ago.

“Although it is our responsibility to adhere to the contract, which I don’t disagree with, the reality is we are human beings dealing with the human spirit and these are our neighbors,” Watts-Yehudah said. "To me it's saying sorry you tried to invest in Mount Vernon. I have a problem with it because it is spiritually and humanely wrong."

Council member Deborah Reynolds said since the couple was under a contract they should be held to it, adding that they knew what they were doing when they invested in the property.

“I know it’s a hardship but when you put the money down you know you might lose it,” Reynolds said. “I don’t care if it is $10,000, $20,000 or $70,000; we can’t deviate. We have the do the same thing for everyone and can’t start changing that.”

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