Georgiana Council discusses trading properties with BOE

Published 11:44 am Friday, January 6, 2012

Questions about the old Georgiana High School and Austin Community Center lingered at the Georgiana City Council meeting Tuesday night.

Mayor Mike Middleton and the City of Georgiana have expressed interest to Butler County School Superintendent Darren Douthitt possibly trading Idlewood Park for the old Georgiana High School property excluding the football field, gymnasium and the field house.

On Tuesday, Council member Lisa Lowe raised questions about the proposed trades. She wanted to know if the park across from the high school was tied to any of the trades being made with the properties.

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“I want to go back to the last meeting just briefly,” Lowe said. “The city park that is across from the Georgiana High School, is it or is it not tied by how it was originally done by whoever owned it? Is there something there that is going to get in the way of this trade here and trade there?”

She believed that the original property was donated and had to remain a city park.

Mayor Mike Middleton said he would look at the deed to see what it said specifically.

“I’ll look at the deed, but most of the time deeds don’t say that,” Middleton said. “It is deeded to the city. That’s like another one that somebody said the land had to be used for a certain thing but it’s not in the deed. I will check to be for sure.”

As far as the trades being set in stone in regards to the properties, Middleton said nothing had been confirmed.

“The last conversation that I had with (Superintendent Darren Douthitt) I said I would bring it before the council and the council would be the one to say ye or nay,” Middleton said.

Middleton explained that Douthitt said the Butler County Board of Education is prepared and ready to write the deeds over to the Austin Community Center, and as long as the council approves it, the deed will go to the Austin Community.

“And he is prepared to write the deeds over to the City of Georgiana on the high school?” Lowe said. “If the City of Georgiana was not interested in the high school, what is he prepared to do?”

Middleton was unsure of what the Board of Education would do if the City decided not to be involved with the high school property. However, as of now, nothing has been established.

“Once there is an agreement to swap the high school for the park down there, then it should go at that time,” Middleton said. “Until then, I will get you a price for what it’s going to cost on insurance and renovation of the school.”

Middleton said he hopes to have those prices at the February meeting for the board to look at and make some decisions.

However, anytime the Board of Education wants to move forward in transferring the deed of the Austin Community Center, it can do so since the City of Georgiana is not involved at all with that property exchange.

In Other Business:

  • u The city has ordered new four-way stop signs to be placed at certain locations throughout the city after Lowe’s request for new signs in last month’s meeting.
  • u The city will be applying for the grant for a new helipad rather than the hospital since the helipad will be located on city property.