This is the first step in putting the land up for sale via a sealed bidding process. The land cannot be sold through a public auction.
Selling the property was first discussed in a Bradley County Commission meeting where Blue Springs Baptist Church pastor Richard Snyder expressed the church’s interest in purchasing the land.
Bradley County Attorney Crystal Freiberg said the county would not be able to limit who bids on the property. Snyder asked if the field of bidders could be narrowed by requiring that whoever purchases the property allow it to be used as a polling place. Freiberg said she would have to look into this option.
“I would like it to be used for some aspect that would help the community, and I think this proposal that has been presented would be a great benefit to the community,” committee member Cliff Eason said. “I don’t want to see a developer come in there and use it for some kind of financial gain.”
Eason asked if the Commission could come to an agreement with the church that would make the plan possible
Freiberg said leasing the property was the county’s best option if it wanted to be able to restrict use. The county can only lease the property for up to 40 years. Freiberg said this creates a complicated issue because the church wants to built a new building on the property.
At the end of the 40 years, any structures on the property would become property of the county. However, the lease contract could have an agreement between the two parties that the county would pay the lessee back for any improvements to the property, Freiberg said.
Committee member Robert Rominger said he would like the county to sell the property at a fair price without making a large profit.
“The total market value is $108,700,” Rominger said.
Freiberg said the Commission would be able to ensure that the land was not sold for a lower price than it thought was fair.
“Typically, in a bid situation, you do get fair market value,” Freiberg said.
She said the Commission always has the option to reject bids, and then decide to lease the property.
The issue will be discussed more at the County Commission’s work session Monday.