By Shelby Stewart
Brandon Twp.- The board of trustees voted 6-0 on Monday to assign township clerk Candee Allen the task of exploring all costs involved in the purchase of the Belle Ann Elementary property.
Belle Ann has been closed since 2013, and the school board has said they would accept $500,000 for the property if the township were to purchase the property, and would work with them on payments.
How much it would cost to run the building’s electrical, heat and renovation costs are still unknown.
Allen will be bringing this information back to the board by the Jan. 2, 2018 meeting or earlier should she receive all the information by the Dec. 4 board of trustees meeting.
“I for one know that we’ll have a much better parking situation, a much larger conference room for board meetings, all kinds of storage that we could ever want, several bathrooms throughout the building,” said Allen.
“There’s a lot of pluses.”
Both Allen and treasurer Terri Darnall did a walk-through of the building with Brandon Superintendent Matt Outlaw.
“I think that everyone should see it,” said Darnall, and the rest of the board agreed that they should all go see the building for themselves.
“I was a little surprised at the price,” said trustee Robert Marshall. “That’s a hefty price and there’s a lot of things you could do with $500,000. There’s a lot of information that needs to be found out.”
The township board is debating if the expenses to renovate and maintain the building would be feasible, over the possibility of renovating the current offices.
“This building has been empty for a couple years,” said trustee Kris Kordella. “It sounds like this isn’t a very desirable piece of property. My question is what are we going to do with all of that extra property?”
The extensive land that the school is on could be used for recreational purposes, and supervisor Kathy Thurman said soccer games used to be hosted on that property.
As far as the current building, Allen says there is someone who expressed interest in purchasing it.
“They can’t buy it if we’re here,” said Allen.