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South Adams sells property; CVS will use

June 15, 2011

Amy Orr

    It seems that Berne is another step closer to having a CVS pharmacy at the intersection of US 27 and State Route 218.
    At a meeting of the South Adams Schools Board on Tuesday, board members accepted a $650,000 bid by GKB Enterprises for the former Berne elementary school property. GKB Enterprises, LLC is owned by Steven J. Kreigh and the estate of Ralph E. Biggs.
    Earlier this month, board members met in a special meeting and decided to counter the original offer they received from GKB Enterprises. In the counter offer, the school corporation specified that $10,000 in earnest money be paid to the school corporation upon execution of the agreement and that the closing date be on or before October 1, 2011.
    GKB Enterprises countered, indicating that it would pay $5,000 in earnest money up front and the other $5,000 upon removal of the contingencies. The closing date was not disputed.
    The bid, according to GKB's counter offer, is contingent upon CVS Corporation signing a lease agreement with GKB and subject to approval from the state of Indiana and from the Berne Plan Commission. The school corporation also agreed to allow GKB full access to the property for testing and inspection purposes.
    Prior to the acceptance of GKB Enterprises' counter offer, board member Amy Orr said she was under the impression that a clause was included in the schools' counter offer that allowed the school corporation to leave the property on the market even after an agreement had been signed with GKB in case it received a better offer.
    No such clause was included in the original counter offer from the school corporation. Orr said she thought the board should counter back again to include such a clause.
    Board member John Mann said, "I don't see another offer at this price range materializing at all."
    Orr responded by saying, "Even though I don't see a better offer, I feel that it's in our best interest as a school corporation to take some time to make sure we have commercial real estate brokers across the region that are aware that this property is on the market. I don't expect us to get another offer like this, but I think it's our responsibility to exhaust all efforts to find anybody who might be interested."
    Orr added that she thinks only people in the immediate area knew about the property being for sale. She added that she thinks adding such a clause in another counter offer might help the school corporation to receive a "better offer" and "protect us if this offer falls through."
    Mann said, "I think if we delay this we're simply muddying the water and discouraging the one group we have. I think we have a good offer." He added, "We've done our work and it's all been public. I don't see any reason to drag it on anymore."
    Steve Dobler agreed saying, "I don't see how this [adding the clause] would help us."
    Dobler made the motion to accept the offer as submitted by GKB Enterprises, and it was approved with no opposition. (Tony Mellencamp was absent.)
    Board members also approved a motion to have Superintendent Scott Litwiller sign and execute the agreement.

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