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School Board postpones action on properties at Middle School

By Bill Short

Millington Schools logoThe Millington School Board agreed this week to postpone action on two parcels of land until after a joint meeting with the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
Board members made the decision Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a recommendation by Chairman Don Holsinger.
At its Oct. 6, 2014 meeting, the board voted to transfer two parcels to the city and request a third one from it by a quitclaim deed process.
The first two proposals were to transfer to the city a park adjacent to E. A. Harrold Elementary School and property adjacent to Millington Middle School.
The third proposal was for the city to transfer to the school system a small portion of the “back building” at the middle school that is located on property actually owned by the city.
But in a subsequent work session, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen decided that it was not “comfortable” with the quitclaim deed process.
One of the attorneys for the city had suggested that a better way to proceed was to develop a “common-interest agreement” regarding the parcels’ usage and maintenance.
At its Dec. 1, 2014 meeting, the school board approved the common-interest agreement. But the city board subsequently chose not to move forward with that agreement.
Dr. David Roper, superintendent of the municipal school system, said at Monday night’s meeting that the attorneys for the school board and the city are attempting to prepare the “final wording” on a proposed agreement.
While noting that it relates only to the property at the middle school, he said it addresses two areas: the “back building,” as well as the pavilion at Jameson Park and the restrooms within it.
Under the proposed agreement, Roper said, the school system would grant an easement to the city, so the pavilion and its restrooms could be accessed. In exchange, the city would quitclaim to the school system the property on which the “back building” encroaches.
He said the attorneys are attempting to determine some “final language” regarding whether the easement would be permanent, have a “specific expiration date” or could be cancelled after a certain number of days’ notice.
Because a “liability issue” is also being considered regarding the pavilion and its restrooms, Roper said the school board’s attorney would like to have a “hold-harmless clause” included in the agreement.
“So, the attorney did not feel like it was ready to be presented to the school board for approval this evening,” he said, “because he still has concerns in those two areas.”
While noting that Monday was Ed Haley’s first day as Millington’s new city manager, Roper said he hopes to continue discussions with the city regarding the easement and liability issues.
Based on what has “transpired” over the past several months, he said it would be best to let the city board vote on a proposal and submit it for the school board’s approval.
Holsinger said the joint meeting with the city board is scheduled for 1 p.m. on March 21.
“If we don’t have something resolved by that time,” he concluded, “we send a letter that basically says we don’t do anything until they send us a proposal that meets our requirements. And we can lay our requirements out to them.”

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