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Hawkins reviews offers for bus garage property

February 8th, 2007 11:12 pm by Jeff Bobo



ROGERSVILLE - The Hawkins County Board of Education has received two "good offers" for the sale of its old bus garage in Rogersville but will take a month to think about it before considering approval.


The bad news was that both offers were only about two-thirds the minimum price of $299,000 established by the board.


But Director of Schools Clayton Armstrong said the good news is that there's now more serious interest in purchasing the property.


Rogersville Tobacco Exchange owner Terry Whitson offered $209,000 for the property earlier this month, while Surgoinsville developer Roger Stuart and John North have offered the school board $200,000 for the property.


During Thursday's regular monthly meeting, the BOE tabled consideration of the offers for one month. There was no discussion over the subject except to say further study is needed.


"The board could accept an offer lower than $299,000," Armstrong said after the meeting. "We're just happy that there is some interest in the bus garage property now, and certainly we're anxious to get it back on the tax rolls. Both offers are significantly lower than what we were asking, but still, they're both good offers."


There are also several items being stored at the old bus garage, and Armstrong said a place will have to be found for those items before the sale can be finalized.


And before a sale can be finalized, the board wants to look into some environmental issues at the 2.9-acre lot on Main Street before it can be sold.


"Before the board can make a decision on this, they need to know if we need to do any additional environmental testing on the property," Armstrong said. "It wasn't brought up by the potential buyers. But with some new laws in place we want to make sure that when we do have a contract to sell it, when we say ‘as is' nothing comes back on us. After talking to the county attorney, we were advised to table this right now, investigate it closer, and make sure that when it's sold that's the last we'll hear of it."


In other business Thursday the BOE:


•Approved a change to board policy regarding school closure which states that school administrators will determine if athletic or other extracurricular activities are canceled on a day when school is canceled for weather.


Board member Tammy Baird pointed out to the board that the policy currently states that if school is canceled, so are the extracurricular activities, but that policy isn't always enforced.


Baird's recommendation to leave the decision up to the school administrators was approved unanimously on first reading.


Baird also posed a question about the possibility of banning tobacco from school campuses altogether.


During indoor athletic events, adult tobacco users are required to step outside, while during outdoor events adult tobacco users must leave the public seating areas. There was no response by other board members to Baird's suggestion, however, and the suggestion died.


•Approved the low bids for HVAC systems for Cherokee High School and Volunteer High School from Edmund Brothers at $347,090.


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