ROCKLAND — The City Council gave preliminary approval Monday night to sell one city-owned parcel but held off on the sale of the Engine Quarry while the city administration negotiates details with the buyer.

The Council voted 5-0 at its Nov. 14 meeting to sell 10 Halls Lane to Katherine McKinlay for $7,500. A final vote is scheduled for Dec. 12.

The property is one-tenth of an acre with a ranch-style house that is in very poor condition. The city has the property and house assessed at a combined $80,600.

McKinlay said the house will have to be completely gutted and she wanted to be able to get inside to begin work as soon as possible, noting the basement has a foot of water that needs to be pumped out. The house also has considerable mold that will need to be remediated, she said.

The city acquired that property in June for non-payment of sewer fees. The property has been vacant for at least five years according to city assessment records.

The prices Rockland receives for properties are far less than their assessed value because the city only issues a quit claim deed, meaning Rockland gives up its interests in the property. Former owners could challenge the ownership issue and getting financing is more difficult because of uncertainty of ownership.

The city sends repeated notices and makes numerous efforts to locate property owners before the foreclosure deadline and tries to work with them after foreclosure. The city also offers the property back to the former owner if they want it and agree to pay what is owed.

State law makes foreclosure on properties automatic 18 months after liens are placed on properties for unpaid taxes if the amount is not paid. Municipalities can vote to waive the foreclosures.

The Council also agreed to postpone for two months a quit claim deed on the Engine Quarry.

Frederick Dodd of Sherborn, Mass. has offered $22,600 for property. Dodd operates a business known as International Zoological Expeditions Inc. and has said he would stop illegal dumping, clean out the quarry and make it available for those who wish to study a different and unique self-contained ecosystem. Dodd has a long history of restoring quarries. He said he would restore the Engine Quarry and open it to the public for kayaking, hiking and other recreational purposes.

The city has solicited proposals for the land on multiple occasions since 2014, but has never followed through on a sale.

The city is requiring that public access be allowed at the property.