Editorial: Previous-school websites ought to revisit the tax roll | Editorials


After opposition from neighbors and different Sullivan County Commissioners, to not point out the prospect of tens of tens of millions of {dollars} in extra prices, Commissioner Dwight King’s proposal to make use of Blountville Elementary and Center Colleges for a brand new county jail died rapidly.

So what to do with colleges once they shut for good in a number of months? The primary precedence needs to be to place them again on the tax roll.

When King steered utilizing the faculties for a brand new jail fairly than increasing the prevailing jail, residents of Blountville close to the faculties wasted no time in advocating for the safety of their actual property investments. Residents rapidly gathered a whole bunch of signatures on an opposition petition. In the meantime, preliminary estimates have revealed that the relocation of the location to the brand new jail – whose plans are nearing completion – wouldn’t solely considerably enhance the fee, however delay the challenge by a number of years.

This, in a nutshell, is untenable. Fortuitously, County Mayor Richard Venable mentioned the thought of ​​shifting development of the brand new jail to the location of the 2 colleges is unlikely to progress primarily based on the suggestions he has acquired from different commissioners. Going off the crushed monitor is commendable, however a second reflection on this concept ought to have achieved with out.

Mayor Venable mentioned space residents ought to have a say in what occurs to the property as soon as it’s not in use by the county’s faculty system. “That is precisely what ought to occur,” Venable mentioned. “They need to voice their considerations. If nothing else, (the subject) introduced out the dialogue concerning the future use of faculties and this property. “

Residents are involved that what occurs to the location will have an effect on the market worth of their properties. They’re suggesting that the location be used for one thing that serves the group, they usually have a number of concepts, together with county workplaces, county archives, the growth of the Sullivan County Public Library which is situated at proximity to varsities, the relocation of the Sullivan County Schooling Division to the constructing, coaching amenities, group middle, senior middle, farmers market occasions, maintaining leisure amenities open to the general public use and a canine park.

A resident mentioned if faculty buildings can’t be reused, your complete property must turn out to be a county park centered across the current ball fields and monitor.

These are nice concepts, they usually all have one factor in widespread: They hold some 27 acres of useful actual property off the tax roll. Blountville is pretty properly surrounded and the faculties are situated within the coronary heart of the group of three,100, which can be the county seat.

It’s typically mentioned that colleges are the center of any small city and that demolishing them – even for good cause like new housing – shouldn’t be all the time standard, even when the buildings are too previous to be economically renovated. The county faculty board voted to rent an appraiser to get a worth on the property.

“It needs to be price much more cash than any faculty we have offered,” mentioned Randall Jones, faculty board chair.

Jones mentioned if the county fee had little interest in the property, it may very well be offered by sealed public sale or public public sale, though the council reserves the suitable to refuse any bids.

Neighbors ought to have a say in what occurs to this property, and at each step the college board and county fee ought to present transparency as selections are made. However the major duty of those two our bodies is to the residents of the county as an entire, and this requires that the precedence for the disposition of the property be to return the best worth to the county.

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