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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 03/13/13
RCS looks at selling 40
acres of district property
by CHRIS GRAY"For sale" signs may pop up on property in the Romeo Community Schools district as officials seek ways to deal with a loss of revenue.
Observer Staff Writer
On March 4, the Board of Education decided it would talk over the expenses and research of selling district property. The board is expected to discuss it during a closed session on March 18.
With the district facing an estimated $1.7 million in expenditures over revenue for the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year, the board is seeking ways to make up for lost state revenue in its budget.
The first property is five acres on Jewell Road, while the second piece is 35 acres on Mound Road south of 29 Mile Road.
Executive Director of Business Affairs David Massoglia said the district will not likely build on the former property, and could therefore sell it. For the second property, the finance subcommittee suggested conducting a study of it and bringing it to the market within the next year.
"We feel that the property values are still going up and should continue to be going up in the next six months," Massoglia said.
Massoglia said a third property under consideration will not be brought forward at this time.
Massoglia said the pre-sale investigation with Great Northern Consulting Group is $12,000 for all three properties, while marketing costs would not exceed $15,000.
Vice-president Sara Murray questioned the use of the company, wondering if other avenues could be pursued for the same information.
"Just from a business perspective, I feel it's in our best interest all the way around to have multiple bids to look at," Murray said.
Massoglia said the board could seek other companies, but pointed out the company doesn't seek commission after the sale and works on an hourly basis.
Board President Anita Banach said the board could find a local company or seek other bids, and suggested administration bring information to the next meeting.
"I think the first thing we need to come to some consensus on is are we interested in embarking on the two properties," he said.
While most board members agreed to look into selling the property, Trustee Gus Demas was hesitant, saying the district may need it if the area develops.
"It may not grow immediately in the next two years, but who are we to say it's not going to grow in the next five or 10 years," Demas said.
He added that now might not be the time to sell property, saying he sees it as a "last resort" for revenue for the district.
Banach said property sales can be discussed in closed session to allow the board to ask questions about the property and how to research its value.
"In open session we can certainly talk about the different consultants that can help us," she said.