Gibsonville’s board of aldermen has directed town staff to move forward on seeking three parcels of land after a closed session held during a special meeting last week.
Town manager Ben Baxley told The Alamance News this week that the aldermen, who were presented with information on the parcels during the closed session, have instructed staff to make initial offers on the properties. Though considered a long-term move, the manager said that the sites are being considered for the following uses:
· A new police headquarters at 1220 Springwood Church Road, a nearly 21-acre property owned by Howard and Bonnie Ingle. The land is valued at $313,800, according to Guilford County’s Register of Deeds office.
· A new library and recreation extension at 534 and 564 Minneola Street, a 2.8-acre tract located behind the Gibsonville Community Center and owned by Dwight Herbin. The land is valued at $148,900, according to Guilford County’s Register of Deeds office.
· An adjoining, 2.8-acre segment also along Minneola Street, at 502 and 532, that is owned by Betty Henderson and would also be used as space for the new library and recreation area.
The land is also valued at $148,900, according to Guilford County’s Register of Deeds office.
A fourth parcel, the only located within Alamance County, on Piedmont Avenue, had been considered for a public safety training area. However, Baxley told the newspaper that the board decided not to pursue the 27-acre property, owned by Charles and Ann Neill.
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Though the town has 216 acres of vacantsurplus property, Baxley said that these specific parcels were eyed because of their central location in the town. If purchased, they will also be on hold rather than immediately used, the manager said, with staff and the board simply seeking to act on the land before it’s secured by other buyers.
Also covered during the special meeting, though not in closed session, was the approval of a resolution to complete the sale of the Travis Creek pump station to the town of Elon for about $2 million. Both governing boards settled a deal at the end of 2019 in which Elon would purchase the pump station in exchange for the placement of an “annexation line of agreement” from just west of University Drive northward to Guilford County Farm Road.
Being part of the water and sewer budget, Gibsonville’s proceeds from the sale are prohibited from being used to purchase the aforementioned three parcels. This because all funds from the water and sewer budget are legally required by the state to be used only for water and sewer purchases.
Town staff rescinds closed session invitation to aldermen-elect
While town staff initially invited aldermen-elect Bryant Crisp and Paul Thompson to attend the closed session, under the notion that any land purchases would soon affect them as board members, the invitation was rescinded after Alamance News publisher Tom Boney, Jr. raised questions about the legality of allowing the men to sit in on the proceedings before they’re sworn into office.