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Bertie BOE accepts offer

WINDSOR – They’re one step closer to the finish line.

In a special-called meeting held here Thursday, the Bertie County Board of Education voted to accept an offer to sell the notorious house on White Oak Road.

Aritha Baynes, a Virginia woman, made an offer of $120,000 for the house, first built in 2003 under the direction of former superintendent John F. Smith, Sr.

On October 19, the BOE met with only four members present and could not come to a decision on whether or not to sell the house.

The vote stood even at 2-2, with board members Rickey Freeman and Melinda Eure on one side, and Emma Johnson and Gloria Lee on the other.

Freeman and Eure wished to get rid of the house, but Johnson and Lee thought it would be best to keep it and use it for recruiting teachers.

Board member Alton Parker was not at that meeting, so the board voted to table the matter until all five members could be present.

Thursday, all five members got together and again voted on the matter.

Parker sided with Freeman and Eure in a desire to rid the school system of the property.

Johnson did an about-face and decided to side with the majority, citing her desire to show unity, according to Brent Todd, Bertie County Schools Public Information Officer.

Lee, however, stood her ground and voted against the sale, but her objections weren’t enough as the 4-1 vote in favor of accepting the offer carried the measure through.

Since the house is considered public property, the offer will be advertised and then it will enter into a 10-day upset bid period.

During that time, any interested party can make a bid over the $120,000 amount and the board will then have to consider that bid.

The controversial house, one constructed with unapproved funds, stood on the market for a year at a listed price of $169,000.