The Carter County Board of Education Wednesday approved the sale of the former Carter Elementary School building at a special meeting.
Dr. Clarence F. Lyons and a group of other unnamed physicians were awarded the property at a bid of $77,000 after the original high bidder withdrew his bid.
According to Supt. Ronnie Dotson, the property appraised for $65,000. The appraisal was completed the day before the auction.
The board approved the sale on a 3-1 vote with Bryan Greenhill, Keila Rogers-Bender and Randy Steagall voting in favor and Lisa Ramey-Easterling opposing.
“As a board, we don’t want anything negative to impact any of our communities,” said Easterling.
Several concerned citizens from the area attended the meeting to address rumors that the building might be converted to an in-patient drug rehabilitation facility.
“If it’s something to do with drugs it would be right there in our faces,” said Wanda Burge.
“You’ll hear the sucking sound of people leaving the area,” said Rick Kiser. “I’d rather see the building rot down than be used for that prupose.”
“Rumors sometimes get out of hand,” said Dotson.
He also stressed that the winning bidders had not given any indication of what they might do with the property.
In fact, no one at the meeting had spoken with Lyons concerning his plans. Phone messages left at his Olive Hill practice had not be returned as of press time.
According to Jeff Scott, the board’s attorney, there could have been unforeseen legal ramifications if the board had chosen to reject the bid.
“The Board could be opening itself up to potential litigation by not accepting a bid that is $12,000 over the appraised value, simply because of what the new owners might do with the property,” said Scott.
“You can’t choose and pick who you sell the building to because you might not like what they do with it,” said Steagall.
“We understand the board’s position but we had to start somewhere,” said Paulette Smith.
The Board of Education will hold its next regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20, at the central office in Grayson.
Joe Lewis can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 286-4201.