Chairman Dr. Murray asked Mr. Theodore about the vacant property on Grissom Parkway. Mr. Theodore stated that we have sixteen vacant properties. The property on Grissom Parkway in the Port St. John area is 63 acres with a recent market value range of $125,000 to $150,000. He noted that the land is environmentally impacted; 25 acres are wetlands and approximately 16 acres of scrub jays and there is about 22 acres of buildable property. Mr. Theodore informed the Board that they were approached by a company called KLD Inc. who serves at risk children. They gave Harold Bistline, School Board Attorney, a proposed lease to build an educational complex on the land. The lease terms would be a dollar a year for 20-25 years. Mr. Theodore explained to the Board that we would not need the site within the next 20-25 years.
Mr. Bistline stated that he has not received the proposed lease at this time. Mr. Theodore stated that he received the proposed lease and was under the impression that Mr. Bistline had as well.
Mr. Ziegler commented if this was common practice to lease land for a dollar a year. Mr. Bistline stated that there is only one other time prior to Dr. Sawyer's time and the Board had the ability to terminate the lease within a years notice. Mr. Ziegler stated his concerns about having to purchase the land at the improved value at the end of the lease.
Dr. Krupp stated his concern about the market value at the end of the 20 year lease. His major concern is what is being built on the property and can the School district make use of it after 20 years.
Ms. Kneessy noted that she has seen the plan and that this is a community outreach program. She noted that KLD is looking at a program that is agriculturally based and the facility would be self-sustaining. She encouraged the Board to have a conversation with Kevin Deaton at KLD, to see what their vision is for this land.
Dr. Murray stated that her only reservation is to take on anything that will create a potential financial obligation for us over the next 100 years. She asked if this is a property that the School District that we need to keep.
Mr. Theodore stated that given our financial situation and our use for this land that the Board consider declaring it surplus and selling the land to KLD for its proposed value. He stated that his recommendation is if they are interesting in the property then we should offer it for sale.
The Board discussed the various options and gave the direction for Dr. Binggeli and Mr. Bistline to work out the options to bring back to the Board.
Chairman Dr. Murray mentioned to the Board that direction needs to be given to the Superintendent as it relates to cell towers.
Mr. Ziegler stated that Mr. Ralph Perron who brought the cell tower information to the Board, just assume put it on his property if the Board is going to dispose of this thought.
The Board directed the Superintendent not to go further as it relates to the cell towers due to the concerns about risk and there is enough going on with the potential of school closures.
Ms. Henderson questioned if the Board approved the transfers of debt serves as it relates to the Impact Fees. Mr. Theodore stated that the Board approved the use of Impact Fees for two additions, at Williams Elementary and Suntree Elementary. He stated that it was currently on the five year plan which allowed the use of Impact Fees.
Discussion ensued about the Impact Fees and building plans for the Viera Company that will effect our schools. Ms. Henderson pointed out that we may want to save the monies for additions.
Mr. Bistline stated the reason that the district is receiving Impact Fees is because State law requires DRIs that donate get Impact Fees to pay themselves back.
Dr. Murray went back to the schedule on the school closing to discuss when community input would occur. She clarified the following schedule for the community:
- Board will receive staff recommendation for the potential school closings at the School Board meeting of November 22, 2012.
- Board will receive community input at the School Board meeting of December 11, 2012.
- At the School Board meeting of January 22, 2013 there will be a Public Hearing as well as Board taking action to either approve or not approve the recommendations for the school closures.
Discussion ensued about the types of meetings and communication that would occur at the school level. Dr. Murray recommended, as suggested in the National School Boards Association (NSBA) that the Board step back and allow the Superintendent, Principals, and other staff to step in. Dr. Binggeli noted that he called the principals at the four schools so they did not find out that there schools have been chosen for potential closure by the media. There has been discussion regarding the communication efforts that will be for the communities and for the external stake holders.