Recent news and talk in our community has involved the sale of land that has been long held by the Hilliard City Schools. Unfortunately, much of what we are witnessing is the dissemination of incorrect information. The purpose of this letter is to provide you with the facts involving the sale of this land.
First, the school district has owned this land for ten years. The site in question was once earmarked as the site of the third high school. When the community made clear that the site was not favored, the district was responsive, found another agreed-upon site that the community preferred and then began seeking a buyer for this land. That was seven years ago and it has been for sale ever since. We do not believe it is prudent policy for the board to hold on to land to avoid development.
Second, for the first time, we have a viable buyer for the entire property and at a competitive price. Keep in mind that school districts have no say in how land may be used or how it is zoned. With this site in particular, the city is responsible for zoning and has sole control over this as far as it affects our schools. We are confident that the city will make decisions to zone it and to approve plans for the development of the site in a responsible manner for our community.
Third, the offer from Rockford Homes is the best and most financially prudent offer for our schools. One other offer was received but it was not fiscally responsible or legal for our schools. This offer involved obligating future school boards to a complicated financial situation which included financing the deal at zero percent interest over at least 30 years. After completing a complete financial review, the actual dollar per acre price paid would amount to the lowest offer received by far. Not only was this offer something that is not fiscally prudent, but is also not legally permissible.
Fourth, the School District did communicate with the City of Hilliard concerning the difficulties consummating a deal with the nonprofit. The district treasurer spoke with the City of Hilliard’s economic development director on February 26 to fully inform the city about the status of the deal.
Last, our schools are in need of the funds from this sale. Funds from this sale will go toward our schools for repairs, allow us to keep technology up to date and provide good learning environments for students.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions. Our board and district are very responsive and transparent with the community and we felt it was important that you know the true facts surrounding this issue.
As a board we make no apologies for standing by decisions which are reflective of our community and which are fiscally responsible. Now, the zoning rests with city council who will have sole control from here. We are in no doubt that they will represent our community’s interests well.
Board of Education
Andy Teater, president
Lisa Whiting, vice president
Heather Keck, member
Paul Lambert, member
Doug Maggied, member