Published 11:53 am Friday, October 5, 2012
Two properties owned by the Bertie County Board of Education are officially for sale.
A third likely isn’t far behind.
Tuesday night the school board made the decision to seek public offers for the former C.G. White High School, the sewer treatment plant at C.G. White and the treatment plant at Askewville Pre- School.
The decision followed information presented by Bertie County Schools Maintenance Director Matthew Bond, who informed the board of the appraised value of the three parcels of property.
“At the last board meeting, I was asked to have the property at C.G. White and Askewville appraised,” Bond said. “The appraiser came on Sept. 26.”
Bond said the appraised value of C.G. White was $125,000 including the building and the 12.3 acres that went with the property. The value of the treatment plant at C.G. White, including the 35.2 acres of land was set at $45,000.
He also reported the appraised value of the treatment plant and 10.8 acres at Askewville Pre-School as $32,000.
Bond said it was important for the board to remember the C.G. White property is located in an area zoned residential. He said the town did not seem inclined to change the zoning so the prospective buyers should be made aware of that.
Following the presentation, interim Bertie County Schools Superintendent Eliane White asked how the board wanted to proceed with disposition of the property.
Bond said the town of Powellsville was interested in purchasing the property and suggested the two boards meet to discuss it.
Board Vice Chair Emma Johnson asked if the town was ready to meet and Bond said he believed they were.
Other board members, however, were not ready to go down that route without offering the same opportunity to members of the public.
“I understand they have always shown interest, but being as it is county property I would like for others to have the same opportunity just to be fair,” board member Rickey Freeman said.
Board members Pamela Chamblee and Alton Parker said they agreed.
“I understand they want it, but we should allow others an opportunity,” Freeman added.
Board Attorney Rod Malone said the North Carolina General Statues allowed the school board to negotiate directly with a municipality, but did not require it.
Parker said he knew others had expressed a desire to own the property as well.
“Some other entities have shown an interest in it,” Parker said. “Whether they have an interest after they find out what the zoning ordinance will be I don’t know, but I would like for that to be exhausted before we exclusively offer it to Powellsville.”
Malone suggested the board could run an advertisement in the newspaper to allow people to make offers on the property.
“At least you will know the pool of people who have interest,” Malone said. “Then if you get no offers or some, then at least you will know what you’re working with and you will have given everybody an opportunity to let you know they are interested before you sit down with somebody else.”
Chamblee asked if the property could be divided and Malone said it could. He said the board would have the opportunity to see what proposals were made and then make the best decision as to how to sell the property.
Johnson asked how long the board intended to wait before moving to sell the properties and Malone said there should be a timetable. The board agreed to allow 30 days for the advertisement.
The school board members also agreed they would seek at least the appraised value for the properties.
Freeman made a motion to proceed with the advertisement and it passed by a unanimous vote.
Moments later the board directed Bond to proceed with an appraisal of the former J.P. Law Elementary School in Merry Hill. Bond reported the property had been offered to the Bertie County Commissioners, who had declined.
The board will take up what to do with that property upon completion of the appraisal.