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Offer Made On Old Middle School

By Staff | Mar 25, 2010

The old Middle School building and football field were topics of discussion for members of the Emmetsburg Community Schools Board of Education during their meeting on Mar. 15.

Superintendent John Joynt related that his office had received an offer of $20,000 for the old Emmetsburg Middle School building on Friday, Mar. 12, from Dan Kesterson of Emmetsburg. Kesterson presented a check for $500 in “earnest money.”

“I sent the offer to our district lawyer for review,” said Joynt. “The offer is contingent upon sale of a property Kesterson owns. He already has an offer on that property.”

Joynt noted that the buyer would be purchasing the property as-is, and that he would like the window air conditioning units and stoves to remain intact.

“Mike Wentzel [realtor] says that he plans to live in there and convert different parts to apartments, so he wants the stoves and air conditioners,” said Joynt.

The date of possession would be June 15.

“If this goes through, we would probably have a sale of all of the contents of the building in early June,” Joynt added. “We might connect it with the city-wide garage sales.”

The offer needs to be accepted by May 1, and a public hearing on the sale of the property could be held as soon as ten days after the publication of the notice.

“We could do the public hearing at our April meeting and then make a decision at that meeting,” Joynt stated.

“Are there any zoning problems with this building becoming apartments? Is this something we have to be concerned about?” wondered Board President Karla Anderson.

“No, I assume the City would work with anyone who is going to purchase the property to make it useable,” replied Joynt.

Board member Steve Pelzer moved to set a public hearing on the sale of the Middle School property for Monday, Apr. 19, at 5:30 p.m.

In related business, the board discussed the possible sale of the Middle School football field to be used as a youth soccer and flag football field.

“I talked to our district lawyer who said that it’s very easy to give the field to another government agency—city or county,” Joynt explained. “We really don’t need a public hearing, although he suggested that we have one. It was already purchased, paid for, and developed by taxpayer funds. It’s easy to do that if you think it’s good for the community.”

According to the superintendent, the E’Hawk Flag Football and the Emmetsburg Soccer Programs would maintain the field under the guidance of City Parks and Recreation, which is under the direction of the City of Emmetsburg. Iowa Code describes how the property may be “given away.”

Members of the youth athletic groups were on hand to support the proposal:  Rick Brennan, Shad and Tara Helle, B.J. Schany, and Travis Fries.

“We’ve got a unique opportunity to partner on the field,” said Rick Brennan. “Soccer has about 162 kids; flag football has about 120. Both groups are pretty well funded and we can definitely maintain the property. If, for some reason, the school would need to use the field, we would welcome them with open arms. Needless to say, if we can benefit almost 300 kids in the community, we think it’s a win-win for everyone.”

“The advantage for us is that we wouldn’t have to mow and maintain the grass,” Joynt said. “I recommend we think about this until the April board meeting and then make a motion for a public hearing to be held in May. That way we’re not doubling up with the sale of the Middle School building and the football field to confuse people.”

The issue was tabled until the board’s April meeting.