Patience wears thin

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 13, 2007

WINDSOR – Attention interested parties: a meeting is fast approaching at which the fate of the former C.G. White Middle School and other unused elementary school buildings will be decided.

On July 30, a joint session of the Bertie County Commissioners and the Bertie Board of Education (BOE) is to be held at the Council on Aging building on School Street in Windsor.

&uot;This is the meeting that Mr. (Rick) Harrell (the chairman of the commissioners) envisioned where interested parties can sit down and talk about what will be done with the buildings,&uot; County Manager Zee Lamb stated at Monday night’s regular commissioner’s meeting.

Harrell said at a previous commissioner’s meeting there would be no decision made on what to do with the school buildings until everybody who had a stake in the outcome sat down and talked about it.

Some people in the community are evidently tired of waiting for that decision.

&uot;We’re disgusted; we’re tired of waiting,&uot; stated Jean Canada, a representative of the C.G. White Alumni Association interested in acquiring that school.

Vice-Chairman Commissioner L.C. Hoggard III responded, &uot;We realize this is taking a long time but please be patient as we are trying to work this out in everyone’s best interest.&uot;

Another commissioner, Wallace Perry, added that the board of commissioners had initially thought the BOE would allow the buildings to be given to the county for one dollar, but BOE attorneys said they must be sold at fair market value.

County Attorney Lloyd Smith maintains that &uot;fair market value&uot; actually won’t be that much.

&uot;The building (C.G. White) is old and it is fully depreciated… there are issues where it would cost more to maintain than it’s worth,&uot; he stated.

He continued, &uot;Somebody’s got to bite the bullet and have it appraised.&uot;

It was decided that Hosea Wilson, the current county tax administrator would be contacted to do an informal appraisal prior to the meeting in order to get an idea of what the building is worth.

&uot;All we’re trying to do is make this an easy, smooth transaction,&uot; Hoggard said.

The July 30 meeting will begin at 3 p.m. and the public is invited to attend.