Property Information Update
Provided by Dr. Bruce Hatton as authorized by the Covington Board of School Trustees
- At the end of last summer property adjacent to the superintendent's office was sold for a price of $174,000.
- The board was advised by the superintendent that it would not be in the best long term interest of the school to have triplex apartments within 75 feet of the entry to the elementary school due to increased traffic congestion and student safety.
- Upon learning of the owners plan to build apartments, the school board expressed interest in determining if the new owner would be willing to the sell the lots that went with the property.
- The owner was approached and was unwilling to the sell the lots separately because plans were in the process for developing duplexes on the lots. He would however sell the entire property for $300,000.
- The board is bound by law to pay fair market value determined by the average of two appraisals.
- Appraisals were conducted and the average of the two appraisals was $225,200
- An offer of $225,200 was made and rejected.
- The board was advised by school counsel to examine legal action to possess the property.
- The owner was contacted again and told of this possibility but remained steadfast on the $300,000 price.
- The board began the process as required by statute before potentially exercising eminent domain powers.
- The owner is now willing to sell the lots separately from the dwelling for $100,000.
- The average of the two original lot appraisals combined was $28,775.
- Two additional appraisals are being conducted to determine if the original appraisals are inaccurate.
- The board was not interested in the dwelling on the property but did consider utilizing it as an office if the property was not to be separated.
- Eminent domain is never a popular action and the board is willing to consider a reasonable profit margin for the owner but must comply with legal restrictions.
- The board is guardian of taxpayer monies and cannot be seen as favoring the owner by providing a windfall at the expense of other taxpayers.
- It is our hope that a resolution can be achieved.
(End of Information)