Fayetteville seals deal to buy schools’ central office site for $3.1 million

Fayetteville seals deal to buy schools’ central office site for $3.1 million

10 acres to be site of new city hall, plus park and recreation area

It was in January that the Fayetteville City Council voted to purchase the nearly 10-acre tract on Stonewall Avenue in downtown Fayetteville that houses the Fayette County School System central office and former bus facility. The council on May 30 adopted a resolution that sets the deal in motion.

Council members in January said the cost to purchase the property would total approximately $3.1 million. The idea for the property was to create a new Town Center that will include a new city hall on 2 acres where central office now stands, and approximately 7.8 acres toward the center and rear of the property for a new recreational project and will include park and open space and enhanced connectivity with existing streets.

Per the resolution, the city will purchase the 2-acre parcel for $637,769 using available general fund money.

The remaining 7.7 acres will be financed at approximately $2.9 million, with the Ga. Municipal Association functioning as a conduit for the loan that carries an interest rate of approximately 3.4 percent and is payable over 11 years. Early payoff is permitted, and comes with a 1 percent penalty.

A portion of the $2.9 million will pay for demolition of several of the current buildings, including central office, the removal of asphalt and underground fuel tanks and other site work that might be needed.

The vote to adopt the resolution was 3-0, with council members Paul Oddo, Harlan Shirley and Rich Hoffman in favor. Council members Kathaleen Brewer and Scott Stacy were not at the meeting.

City Manager Ray Gibson after the meeting said there will likely be no activity on the property until spring 2019.

Gibson was asked about having only one public hearing before the adoption.

“Since this was an agreement through a program with GMA, we had to follow their rules, which required a public hearing. If we were dealing with an ordinance, our procedures would have required two public hearings. However, since it was a resolution, there is only a requirement for one public hearing. As for the time, 10 a.m., we tried to accommodate the schedules/travel arrangements of all those involved in the public hearing to include the city attorney, the bond counsel, the bond broker, and our city council members. All of these factors were taken into consideration to ensure we were able to meet the requirements of a public meeting and meet our June 12 closing date.”

Gibson said the public hearing was noted at the May 17 council meeting and was advertised in the paper on May 9 and 16.

“We had it on our website and social media, and it was also posted at City Hall. We did not receive any comments or concerns about the meeting time as planned,” said Gibson. “We are excited about our downtown plans and have taken great care to keep the public ‘in the loop’ with what they can look forward to in the near future.”