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Houston County Courier - Local News

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Sold: Former state school


By Alton Porter

After 10 weeks of negotiating and having their attorneys conduct property title and deed records searches, Crockett city and school district officials closed sale of the former Crockett State School property from the city to the district at a joint meeting of the two parties Monday, Jan. 22. Mayor Joni Clonts, members of the Crockett City Council and City Administrator John Angerstein met with members of the Crockett Independent School District (CISD) Board of Trustees and Superintendent Terry Myers in the board meeting room in the CISD Administration Building for the purpose of closing the sale-purchase agreement which had been pending since Nov. 6, 2017. Shortly after Board President Lela Wheeler (the District 7 trustee) called the regular gathering of the school board trustees to order and recognized the trustees and superintendent's joint meeting with the mayor, councilmembers and city administrator Monday, Wheeler turned the floor over to Clonts, who spoke. An item on the councilmembers' meeting agenda read, "Consider and approve authorizing the mayor to execute a deed and purchase/sale agreement relating to the conveyance to the Crockett Independent School District of the Crockett State School property." A related item appearing next on the councilmembers' meeting agenda read, "Consider and approve the conveyance from the Crockett Independent School District of a 1.84-acre tract (bus barn property) to the city of Crockett and authorizing the mayor to execute a resolution accepting the conveyance." Clonts said, "We would like to consider and approve authorizing the mayor to execute a deed of purchase-sale agreement relating to the conveyance to the Crockett Independent School District of the Crockett State School property." Then, Wheeler announced the next item on the trustees' meeting agenda: "Discuss and Consider the Purchase and Sale of Property from and to the City of Crockett." Myers then spoke. "Mayor, madame president, members of the board and members of the council, I think we have all the documents in order. I've been in contact with Mr. Angerstein and the city. "I believe we have every document that we need now. We have the Bill of Sale agreement. We have the title commitments from both pieces of property … the Deed Without Warranty that we're going to present to the city for our property and your (city officials) deed without warranty that you're presenting to us. "So, I believe everything is in order. I believe our legal has checked with the city's legal, Mr. (William R. "Bill") Pemberton. And now, all we need to do is both entities need to approve this sale. We've already worked out all the details on payment. We'll give them a down payment tonight, and we will wire the balance in the morning." Precinct 5 Councilmember Mike Marsh offered the motion for city officials to approve sale of the property to the school district and Precinct 1 Councilmember Butch Calvert seconded the motion. It carried on a 4 to 0 vote of the councilmembers present. The fifth councilmember Ernest Jackson (Precinct 3) was absent. Immediately afterward Wheeler offered the motion for school district trustees to accept the sale of the property from the city, with Board Secretary and District 4 Trustee Karen Johnson seconding the motion. It passed on a unanimous vote of the seven trustees. Myers then announced, "The sale has been completed" and facilitated the signing of the various property transfer documents by Wheeler and Clonts. After signing the documents, Wheeler said, "At this time, let me be the first to say how excited I am. … I can visualize what it (the school district owning the state school property) will do for our community…, thank you to the City of Crockett and the board of trustees of Crockett ISD." Clonts said, "We're (city officials) really glad this is finally done. We're excited to see what's going to happen. I know I've talked about it. And everybody else has talked about it, too. This is going to be an asset for our city." Dr. John Garner, the District 5 trustee, said, "We want people to understand we're going to do our best to try to be very good custodians of this property…." At a meeting Nov. 6, 2017, councilmembers, meeting at Crockett City Hall--with Myers, some of the trustees and some of their supporters in attendance—voted to sale the state school property, including its transportation facility to the school district for $650,000 cash and the district's $61,000 bus barn transportation facility. However, at a Nov. 27, 2017, meeting Myers applied the brakes to closing on the purchase-sale transaction at that time because deeds and title records for some of the property that was to be transferred under the agreement were missing and the state school property was uninsured. City officials later took out insurance on the property and the parties recently obtained the deed and title records the school district officials insisted on having before closing the transaction.


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