Jefferson (officially) for sale
The Red Wing School Board voted unanimously, 5-0, to have Superintendent Karsten Anderson develop a request for proposals and list the Jefferson School property for sale.
Legally, the district doesn't have to list, according to Anderson who shared a proposed timeline for the School Board to follow.
Board members will consider approving the RFP at their Feb. 4 meeting, with proposals from interested groups due to the district office by March 5.
Since the Stencil Group's proposal in December, the board has received five inquiries and two, including the Stencil Group, actual offers.
Anderson said the board doesn't necessarily have to accept the RFP, or any RFP for that matter, that offers the most money. Anderson and the board want to make sure if they accept an offer would be the best for the community.
Board Chair Arlen Diercks said he's not in favor of the projected timeline, that would have the board discuss the best offer at the March 18 meeting and send Anderson to negotiate a purchase agreement if appropriate at that time, but believes it's important for the board to officially list the property for sale.
"I think this timeline, in my own opinion, is overly aggressive," Diercks said. "I would like to see more public input in the process, possibly before, but definitely after the proposals are there to hae the community have a chance to weigh in and not just speak at public comment period, which is the way it's set up now."
Board member Jim Bryant said he's gotten comments from community members asking why they wouldn't sell the property, especially since the district hasn't used the building for programming in quite some time.
Board member Holly Tauer said the goal of the School Board is to be as "transparent" as possible.
The board welcomes any discussion on the property, with public comment time open before any regular board meeting. Those interested can also go to Operation Committee meetings as well. Meeting dates can be found on the district's website and in the Republican Eagle government calendar published in each weekend edition.
Board members Pam Roe and Janie Farrar were absent from the meeting.