Janesville58.2°

Beloit Turner School District considers land purchase—again

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ANN MARIE AMES
March 11, 2010
— The Beloit Turner School District again has its eyes on a 40 acre parcel close to the middle and high schools.

But the price tag is much lower than the district planned to spend two years ago.


The board this week voted to move forward to create an offer to purchase land northwest of the school campus and north of the Blackhawk subdivision, District Administrator Dennis McCarthy said. The district’s offer is $6,600 per acre for a total of $264,000, McCarthy said.


The district has no plans to build on the land at this time, but the purchase will position the growing district for the future, he said.


“I think the major decision is this positions the board and the district for the future,” McCarthy said.


Over the past 15 years, other boards and administrations passed on chances to buy land adjacent to the school campus, McCarthy said.


In 2008, voters turned down a $2.5 million referendum question that included $800,000 to buy the same property. The rest of the money in that referendum question would have gone to upgrade the school’s stadium complex.


At the time, voters approved $6.1 million to upgrade the middle and high schools.


District attorneys now will hammer out the offer, including details about zoning, environmental conditions and survey accuracy, McCarthy said.


The school board also will have to decide how to finance the purchase. A referendum will not be necessary, McCarthy said.


The district could spend a lump sum of its fund balance to buy the land, or the board could decide to finance the purchase through the Wisconsin Trust Fund program.


The low price of the land is a real boon for the district, McCarthy said.


“I don’t know that we’ll ever find a better time to purchase the land,” he said.



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