Commission’s last meeting of 2013 full of land deals
by Joshua Sharpe
December 18, 2013 11:45 PM | 1534 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — The Cherokee Board of Commissioners spent much of its last meeting of 2013 taking action on real estate deals, with one of them expected to help the county face tighter finances in the new year.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, commissioners approved several real estate transactions, including a $2.15 million sale of about 39 acres off Highway 92 to Rooker, the developer of Inalfa Roof System’s plant coming to the Cherokee 75 Corporate Park.

Also approved was the $67,000 purchase of two acres near downtown Ball Ground on Valley Street as the future site of a county fire station to replace one on Groover Street that is in poor repair and $26,000 for property needed for a road project off Bells Ferry Road.

Of the $2.15 million money coming from Rooker, commissioners said $1.5 million will be put into the countywide parks bond fund and the difference will be used for other purposes.

In part, the money is hoped to offset the loss of revenue planned in the fiscal 2014 budget from the sale of the Jones Building in downtown Canton, Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens said Wednesday, although he was clear the money could be used for any county needs.

“It’s an offset to the fact that we don’t have the sale value of the Jones Building coming in,” Ahrens said.

The county was in the middle of a deal to sell the former county administration building to an Atlanta-based developer, when the $1.8 million deal fell through in late October.

County Manager Jerry Cooper told the board Tuesday the county originally purchased 39 acres for $1.5 million, planning to use it for a park, but other county-owned land off Old Alabama Road would be just as suitable for that purpose. He added Wednesday the county decided to sell the land, because of the development taking off along Highway 92 in southern Cherokee.

The board also unanimously approved spending $230,320 for about six acres adjacent to the land sold to Rooker, but Cooper said Wednesday the county has already pulled out of the purchase and the contract would be signed over to Rooker.

Cooper said Rooker, which is based in Tucker, has not released what their plans were with the land. The company could not be reached immediately for comment Wednesday.

During the meeting, Ahrens said the area, near the Cobb County line, is primed for growth.

“This is a real important development area in the county, that southwest corridor,” Ahrens said. “(I’m) pleased to see these things are moving forward.”

“It’s becoming a big jobs corridor,” Commissioner Harry Johnston added.

In other business during the meeting Tuesday, the board:

• Unanimously approved buying three Ford Interceptors and two Ford F-150 XLTs to replace vehicles at the Cherokee County Marshal’s Office at a total price not to exceed $144,000;

• Voted unanimously to support the city of Ball Ground’s efforts to solve truck-traffic problems downtown; and

• Unanimously approved a professional services agreement with Power & Energy Services for annual service and maintenance of the county’s generators in the annual amount not to exceed $31,945.

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