By JIM MAURER
CAREY — Following an executive session, Carey Council approved a motion Tuesday to allow village Administrator Roy Johnson to negotiate with the school district on a price for the former school property on East South Street.
A special council meeting was followed by a previously scheduled public hearing by the village planning commission. The panel reviewed two requests concerning the site from the school administration: rezoning the property from S-1 (special use) to R-2 (residential); and splitting the largest parcel into two parts, making seven parcels available for a potential future public auction.
“The official outcome was twofold,” Johnson said via email. “The commission made a ‘contingent’ motion, based on the outcome of village/school negotiations. If there was no agreement reached on a sale to the village, then both the zoning and the split request were considered to be approved and the survey would be filed with the county tax map office.
“If the negotiations with the village were successful, the zoning would remain S-1 (special use) for public uses and the split would be unnecessary, and the village (council) would pass legislation to take possession of the entire property.”
There was no indication on ultimate use of the property, Johnson said.
About a year and a half ago, council indicated it was not interested in buying the property. But recently it was viewed as a “one time” opportunity to acquire the property.
Potential uses could be baseball/softball/soccer fields or as green space, Johnson said.
A donation of $50,000 in “seed” money about a decade ago to construct a community center was also discussed, Johnson said, but such a plan would require donations or “sponsorship” from the community, since the village does not have the money to tackle such a project.
Last month, Carey school board discussed a possible auction of the property with Matt Walter, with Walter Brother Auctioneers. The board also reviewed several potential plans which divided the nearly seven acres into six or seven parcels. An auction would allow bids on the entire property, or on multiple parcels. The board would accept the bid, or bids, which provided the highest price. As a result of the latest council action, the auction is on hold.
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