City Council votes to sell off old school buildings, units
by Megan Thornton
mthornton@cherokeetribune.com
December 15, 2012 12:01 AM | 1681 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BALL GROUND — Ball Ground City Council members moved ahead with plans for Ball Ground Elementary School’s former gymnasium by unanimously voting at their Monday meeting to sell all remaining buildings and mobile units on the old school site.

“It was never intended that we have long-term ownership of the entire property,” Mayor Rick Roberts said. “The cost of the maintenance, providing security and other issues at the entire site will quickly escalate.”

The council at its September meeting unanimously approved the purchase of the entire school facility from the Cherokee County Board of Education.

The city and the school system worked cooperatively throughout the construction of the replacement elementary school on Valley Street, which opened this fall.

As part of the agreement, the city waived all water and sewer fees during construction and was able to acquire the old school building for $35,000, which the city is slated for reimbursement for through its portion of the county parks bond, City Manager Eric Wilmarth said.

The council unanimously voted to surplus the property at 480 Old Canton Road as well as the remaining five mobile classrooms on the property.

Wilmarth said the school district repurposed other mobile units and the five left on the site “have some issues,” including floor problems and leaky walls.

“It’s probably best if we let somebody else have them and move them outside the city,” Wilmarth said.

Wilmarth said at the time of sale, the city will have to change the deed as the property is all on one deed.

The ground immediately south of the gymnasium and to McHan Street will stay with the gym and likely be a future parking lot, Wilmarth said.

In other business, the council heard an update from Wilmarth regarding Dewar Properties’ application for tax credits from the Department of Community Affairs for a proposed apartment complex within the city.

The company is considering building a 64-unit apartment complex for workforce housing at the south end of Old Canton Road. The complex would be called Stone Valley Apartments.

Wilmarth said the application had been denied, but the company submitted an appeal.

“DCA has since published a list of the projects that were funded. Dewar was not one of those selected for funding,” Wilmarth said.

He said officials with Dewar told him they are working to put together a case to put before a panel of DCA members to receive the tax credits

Additionally, the council:

n Approved unanimously the designation of Mound Street as a one-way street. Wilmarth said with the conversion of the street will allow for 24 parking spaces and allow the city to drop its lease of a nearby parking lot for $265 per month. Only one business, Bruce Chiropractic, uses the lot and Wilmarth said owner Jeff Bruce was supportive of dropping the lease and thought the reconfiguration would work well for this customers. Wilmarth said he would like to have the street conversion finished by January;

n Approved 5-0 widening of Groover Street at the railroad crossing;

n Approved unanimously and held the first reading for a change to the city’s alcohol ordinance to allow alcohol license holders to pay license fees in two installments per year rather than one payment. The ordinance change will require a second reading and advertisement in the Cherokee Tribune; and

n Approved 5-0 an agreement with Enviro-Green, a storm water monitoring service, to monitor a relocated stream near Calvin Farmer Park, as the state Environmental Protection Department required the city to have a third party test the stream

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