BATH TWP.: The Revere Board of Education voted in a special meeting Wednesday to sell 57 acres of school district property at the southeast corner of North Hametown and Everett roads to Edward Kuchar Sr. and Frances E Kuchar for $725,000, which equates to $12,718 per acre.
The action was not without discussion and resulted in a split 4-1 vote, with board member George Seifert holding firm in his belief that the board should retain the parcel until they get a better price.
“It’s the last big section of land in Bath. The market is coming back strong, especially for land, and I think we can get a better price,” Seifert said. “I think we are short selling the property to get rid of it.”
Conversely, board members Tom Kelley and Dana Appel countered Seifert’s position from two perspectives.
“The offer is a reflection of the market today, in terms of what it is worth today,” said Kelley. “We’ve got something we can take out of it now and advance the district.”
Appel added the board is not in the business of real estate.
“We have to remember that we are in the business of educating kids,” said Appel.
The board discussion was preceded by a summation of the property history from Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer David Forrest. Among the points he outlined were the original purchase for 58.8 acres in 1997 at $735,312. The land was recently appraised at $700,000 for the acreage. The district will receive a net sale revenue of $688,750, after the commission fee to Stouffer Realty is paid.
Forrest advised board members to consider both sides of the discussion, keeping in mind their fiduciary role with almost three-quarters of a million dollars tied up in land.
Superintendent Randy Boroff said he viewed the sale as a “trade of properties.”
“I look at this as an opportunity to get some investment money for the next project – the bus garage,” he said, referencing the district’s need to replace the current, outdated facility adjacent to Revere Middle School.
“I am disappointed in what we are getting for it,” said board member Diana Sabitsch before casting her vote. Sabitsch was a member of the board that purchased the property 16 years ago, saying the decision then was a case of not much property being available and the need for additional athletic fields in the district.
“We will lose our investment in those fields,” she said, adding that those fields are now mostly used for youth sports, rather than school sports. Nonetheless, she voted with the board majority to sell the acreage.
Four years ago, the acreage was put up for sale at auction; however, no buyer came forward. Last August, the board approved a listing agreement to sell the property through Stouffer Realty for $1.25 million. Since that time, the board has received a number of purchase options at various price ranges and with a number of contingencies until the offer from the Kuchars.
The sale is expected to close June 6, said Forrest, adding that he was not aware of what the buyer planned to do with the parcel.