J.R. McLaughlin asked council members at the Aug. 21 meeting if he could purchase 0.15 acres on Short Drive since his property surrounds the portion owned by the city. He said a water tower was previously on the property, but the city is no longer using the land.
Although state law requires the property to be sent out to bid or by an auction, City Attorney Bobby Dyer noted in a letter attached to the agenda there is an applicable exception. If the property is so small it is incapable of being used independently as zoned, it can be sold without a bid or auction, Dyer said.
The 0.15 acres is zoned general commercial in Cherokee County, which requires a half-acre minimum to be used independently. Dyer said the city council could sell the property to McLaughlin without going through a public bidding process.
Mayor Gene Hobgood said Wednesday he is not in favor of selling the property because it is uncertain if the city will need the site in the future.
“My thoughts are that however remote it may be, we may need it down the road, 10 to 15 years from now. I’ve always felt like a local government should never give up the land we have because ultimately, you’ll find a use for it and it’ll cost more to buy land somewhere else in the future,” Hobgood said. “It was good for a water tank at one point. And you can’t just stick one anywhere because it has to meet certain criteria, elevations and meet the needs of that area. It’s my feeling that we should keep it.”
Council members will discuss the sale of the property tonight after Councilman Hooky Huffman discusses operation management for Etowah Park.
Other agenda items include:
•Discussion of retreat goals and the next steps to be taken;
•Discussion of nominating a replacement on the Canton Building Authority;
•Discussion of possible increase in occupational tax for professional, state-licensed individuals;
•Discussion of demand services agreements with Atkins North America Inc. and Brown and Caldwell;
•Discussion of the Planning Commission’s recommendation to approval a conditional use request from Murphy Oil Company; and
•Discussion of waste removal bids received after a request for proposals was sent out.
For a copy of the agenda, visit www.canton-georgia.com.