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News Commissioners hear recommendations on surplus property

Macon County Commissioners recently directed the county planning board to review county owned property to determine potential uses for individual sites or the possibility that the properties be designated surplus.

The planning board completed the assessment and Macon County Planner Matt Mason reported the board’s finding to commissioners at the February meeting.

According to Mason, the planning board reviewed nine different properties owned by the county and one owned by the school board.

Old Macon County Garage:

Because of the property’s close proximity to the municipal water and sewer services, the planning board recommended that the county retain this property.

 “The board agreed that there are several examples ranging from a future farmer’s market site to simply retaking the parcel for future negotiations with the town of Franklin or Duke Energy, that could be considered when discussing Macon County’s future needs regarding the property,” said Mason.

Highlands Road Site:

Mason reported that this piece of property is the only parcel owned by the county connecting the Greenway to the Highlands Road, and because of that, the planning board proposed retaining the property to begin exploring access options for the Greenway.

Iotla Church Road Site:

The planning board suggested retaining this property because it is bordered on one side by the N.C. Forest Service and lies directly in the flight path of the Macon County Airport. The property could be used for the future needs of the airport.

Macon County Co-Op:

The planning board recommended consolidating this parcel with a piece of property currently owned by the Macon County Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. Mason explained an agreement regarding the property ownership and the buildings on the property as being the basis of the planning board’s recommendations.

Cullasaja School:

The Macon County Board of Education currently owns the Cullasaja School property, but the planning board determined that this property has significant potential uses for Macon County and should be discussed between members of both boards. Mason reported that this property is on the market, but permitting issues have deterred buyers from considering the property for purchase.

Recommended for sale

The planning board’s recommendations included pursuing avenues to sell the following properties: Middle Creek Site, two sites at Bradley Creek, Barnard Road Site, and Bethel Church Road Site. “The board recommends trying to sell these properties to neighboring property owners, trade property with the Forest Service, or donating these properties to the Macon County School Board,” said Mason.

Macon County Commissioner Paul Higdon stated the importance of checking the deeds on each of the properties being proposed to sell, because the county could have acquired the properties through prior agreements that would hinder a sale.

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