By Jamie Wiggan
During a special meeting May 4, Montour school directors approved a sales agreement for the former Ingram Elementary School while also accepting a reduction to the final sale price on the Forest Grove building under contract since 2019.
The board voted unanimously to sell the Ingram building to ANG Real Estate for $650,000. However, a vote to accept a new sales agreement for the Forest Grove school prompted disagreement from two directors.
During a previous board meeting April 15, Pat Morosetti, a real estate agent representing the district, presented the ANG bid alongside a separate bid from a non-profit called Wellness for Veterans. While higher, the Wellness for Veterans bid was contingent on as yet unsecured grant money and had a high chance of falling through, according to Morosetti. ANG’s original bid came in $150,000 lower than the offer approved May 4. Morosetti said the buyer is a local developer interested in turning the former school into high end apartments.
Director George Dudash said he had heard from members of Ingram council that they also supported the ANG offer.
Meanwhile, directors were divided over the modified agreement to sell Forest Grove for about $400,000 below the price agreed on in 2019.
President Mark Hutter, Vice President Kenneth Barth and Directors Cynthia Morrow, Thomas Barclay, Mitchell Galiyas, Mary Ellen Moore and Mark Rippole all voted for the updated agreement, while Directors George Dudash and Darrell Young opposed.
Hutter acknowledged the deal doesn’t represent an “optimal solution” but said the alternative would involve a potential lawsuit and starting the sales process from scratch.
“I think there’s been a tremendous amount of cooperation in making this deal happen, which I think is in the best interest of the community,” Hutter said.
Dudash and Young said they believed the district could do better.
“It appears that we’ve basically given away $400,000 worth of product” Dudash said.”...This doesn’t sound like it’s fiscally prudent policy.”
School officials declined to immediately disclose the terms of the modified agreement or explain why price was reduced during the drawn-out closing process.
Superintendent Christopher Stone said the district would issue a press release in the coming days detailing the steps of the sales process and answering public questions.