CVS backs off buy of SA property

    Steve Kreigh of GKB Enterprises has rescinded the company's June 6 offer of $650,000 to purchase the former South Adams Elementary School property located across from the Muensterberg Plaza and Clock Tower in Berne. The original offer was contingent upon a lease being signed with CVS.
    According to South Adams Schools Superintendent Scott Litwiller at Tuesday's school board meeting, Kreigh said in a letter to the school corporation that "CVS has indicated that its relocation is no longer a priority."
    The schools board accepted the letter from Kreigh as a matter of record and agreed to return to GKB $5,000 in earnest money.
    Because the school corporation did not receive any other bids on the property, board members are now back to square one when it comes to selling the property. Additionally, new legislation went into effect July 1, changing the rules for selling property. The new rules require averaging two appraisals instead of two appraisers coming up with one appraisal. Thus, the previous appraisal on the property is "no longer valid," said Litwiller.
    Board members Tony Mellencamp and John Mann said that they would like to wait to get another appraisal until someone expresses interest in the property. Julie Mansfield said she would like to hold off on another appraisal until the road work at the intersection of US 27 and State Route 218 is completed.
    Additionally, Amy Orr said that, regardless of when an appraisal is sought, she would like to see the school corporation hire a professional to market the property in order to receive "top dollar." She compared selling the school property to selling a house. Orr noted that if a seller hires a realtor, he/she is more likely to receive closer to the asking price than if the house is sold by the owner.
    Litwiller explained that they might be able to receive a better deal on the appraisals if they are done now, using the same appraisers as before, because they are familiar with the property.
    Board members agreed to have Litwiller find out how much the appraisals would cost now, as opposed to six months from now.
    The issue will be revisited at next month's regularly scheduled board meeting.