In­ter­est Shown In School’s Prop­erty

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Lynn Kutter

FARM­ING­TON — The School Board has three is­sues to con­sider con­cern­ing school prop­erty next to Jerry “Pop” Wil­liams El­e­men­tary School on Broyles Street.

Bryan Law, su­per­in­ten­dent, threw out the dis­cus­sion at the board’s meet­ing last week so mem­bers could be­gin think­ing about how to re­spond. De­ci­sions prob­a­bly will be made at the Nov. 13 meet­ing.

Law said Black Hills En­ergy Co., and the city of Fayet­teville have ap­proached the school re­quest­ing ease­ments for util­ity lines.

Farm­ing­ton Mayor Ernie Penn has talked to Law about the pos­si­bil­ity of the city pur­chas­ing seven to eight acres for its new pub­lic works build­ing.

Law said he would ask Penn and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the city of Fayet­teville and Black Hills En­ergy to at­tend the Novem­ber meet­ing to an­swer ques­tions.

Black Hills En­ergy wants an ease­ment that goes across the back of the prop­erty for a gas pipe­line. About 90 per­cent of the ease­ment would be in a flood­plain area.

The city of Fayet­teville wants an ease­ment that runs along Broyles Street in front of the school and in front of va­cant prop­erty next to the school. This would be used for a sewer line that goes to the city’s solid waste treat­ment plant lo­cated off Broyles Street. Law said Fayet­teville was will­ing to pay one dol­lar for the ease­ment.

The city wants to pur­chase about 7-9 acres of the va­cant land next to Wil­liams. In all, the school has 40 acres on Broyles Street. Wil­liams uses eight acres and Law said the school would want to keep some as a buf­fer zone for the el­e­men­tary school.

The city is in­ter­ested in the north­west part of the land, which would be a min­i­mum of 350 feet up to 450 feet of road frontage along Broyles and all the way to the back prop­erty line. This would in­clude flood­plain land.

This is the sec­ond time the city has ex­pressed in­ter­est in pur­chas­ing school prop­erty next to Wil­liams. Pre­vi­ously, School Board mem­bers did not want to sell only part of the prop­erty but hoped to be able to sell all of it to a de­vel­oper.

In 2015, MadSky Con­struc­tion of­fered to pur­chase the prop­erty for $600,000 to build a sin­gle fam­ily hous­ing sub­di­vi­sion. How­ever, the firm ter­mi­nated the con­tract in Fe­bru­ary 2016, be­cause the prop­erty did not al­low for a gravity sewer sys­tem for a multi-lot de­vel­op­ment.

The com­pany’s due dili­gence found large rocks within about six feet of the sur­face, which meant the prop­erty would be ex­tremely shal­low for sewer.

Law won­dered if a new sewer line in­stalled by the city of Fayet­teville would help in sell­ing and de­vel­op­ing the land for res­i­den­tial prop­erty.

“I won­der if it would make it more valu­able,” Law said.

The land was ap­praised at $22,300 per acre in 2013, by Stringfel­low & As­so­ci­ates of Farm­ing­ton.

Board mem­ber Doug Wil­liams said the sewer line would only be valu­able to the school if de­vel­op­ers would have the abil­ity to hook onto it along Broyles Street.

Law said the city had of­fered to build a new pub­lic works build­ing that would match the el­e­men­tary school. Law said he and Penn did not dis­cuss a price per acre for the land but Law said he as­sumed it would be the ap­praised price.

In other ac­tion, Law did not have good news on bids for dirt work for the new foot­ball/soc­cer sta­dium and track. The school only re­ceived two bids for dirt work and the low­est bid was $200,000 higher than es­ti­mated.

“The con­struc­tion mar­ket is very hot right now,” Law said.

He said school of­fi­cials have re­al­ized they are prob­a­bly want­ing too much in the pro­ject and will have to scale it back to meet the pro­posed bud­get.

“We walked out of the meet­ing a lit­tle roughed up,” Law said, adding school of­fi­cials would con­tinue to meet with the con­struc­tion man­ager to re­duce the costs of the over­all pro­ject.

The board also agreed to move its an­nual school board elec­tion to the May pref­er­en­tial pri­mary. For 2018, the School Board Elec­tion will be May 22.

An­nual school board elec­tions have been on the third Tuesday of September but now must be ei­ther on the same day as pref­er­en­tial pri­maries in May or the gen­eral elec­tion in Novem­ber. Act 901, passed by the Arkansas Leg­is­la­ture this year, re­quires the change.

The po­si­tion held by board mem­ber Travis Warren will be the next one up for elec­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.