News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, APRIL 15, 2007


Moving Morgan school base a plus for county and city

Freeing the site of the Morgan County school boardís office complex for use as commercial development has merit.

The 16-acre site is prime property inside the city limits adjacent to The Crossing on Point Mallard Parkway. Some estimates say the property is worth up to $1 million per acre. That, of course, must be negotiated.

The board seems willing to sell the land if it can get enough money to buy land to relocate and to rebuild its complex of buildings. The transaction could be a win-win situation for the school board and for Decatur. Development of the property would create a greater tax base for the city while allowing the school board to move to a central location that better serves all of its schools. The board would also get increased property and sales tax revenue from the development.

Priceville seems like an ideal location for the central office. That would move the central office closer to a majority of the countyís schools. Also, Priceville, because of its location at Interstate 65 and Alabama 67, is destined to become the largest school in the system.

The welfare of Morgan County school students comes first, and the board correctly wants some extra money as an incentive to move. The board needs to realize enough profit to help build a new Priceville High School, too.

Thatís a fair request.

GBT Realty is attempting to tie up the site even before The Crossing, which includes Target and other stores, is completed. That indicates the companyís faith in the local economy.

The board seems willing to move, which means only the price of the land is in question. Thatís a good sign.

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