Georgiana Council discusses property

Published 5:07 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2011

GEORGIANA — The Georgiana City Council has plans to submit a proposal to the Butler County Board of Education regarding the old Georgiana High School property.

The council announced its plans at its December meeting.

Mayor Mike Middleton met with Butler County Schools Superintendent Darren Douthitt to explain the city’s interest in the old property.

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Middleton said the proposal will consist of the city asking to swap Idlewood Park for the old Georgiana High School property. However, the property will not include the football field, gymnasium or the field house. The Board of Education would still control that property to use for football games.

“(Douthitt) asked me if the City would send him a letter stating what we wanted to do and I told him that I would bring it before the council tonight to see if we wanted to do that,” Middleton said.

Middleton said that he hopes that the city would still have access to Idlewood Park for the recreation baseball and softball program.

Whichever group ends up with the old property will have to maintain it as well as bring the school up to code. Middleton said he received a letter stating the parking lot had to be repaved and the bathrooms would have to be remodeled to make them handicap accessible.

Just what will be done with property is the Butler County Board of Education agrees to the council’s proposal is still uncertain. However, Middleton did make a small request.

“I would like to see City Hall moved up there, because you don’t have any parking here,” Middleton said.

Council member Lisa Lowe expressed concern about moving City Hall from the center of town.

Middleton also said he would think other businesses would be able to move into the old property such as beauty parlors and a possible art studio for art classes.

“There are several things we can get gone done up there once we get the room for it,” Middleton said.

Council member Byron Ward brought up the concern of the city inheriting a great deal of property.

“We know that the National Guard is coming back to the city so we’re going to inherit two properties,” Ward said. “The only concern I have is if something falls through with R.L Austin and we wind up with it and the high school and the National Guard, that’s going to be a lot of real estate the city is going to have to maintain. I’d like to iron out all of the small details.”

Middleton said the city will not know for sure if the armory will be coming back to the city until April or May of next year. Middleton also said he would look into the cost of insurance and getting the buildings up to code if the city does inherit the different properties.