City Council will be meeting next week to vote on various topics within the community, and a brief meeting took place this morning in order to discuss what issues will be voted on. Among these, Mayor Percy Bland specifically requested for the city to consider taking on the old Witherspoon school. The city schools currently own the property, but they are willing to donate the land to the city.
“We’re trying to improve that neighborhood, we’re trying to improve that ward. So, when you take a housing initiative and other things, it’s sometimes best to control as much of the land and environment as you possibly can on the front end. So, as you go out and try to market those areas you’re in a better position to do it. We’re trying to improve housing between $50,000 to $75,000 properties, which we’re trying to market to developers to build those houses in areas of town that are depressed areas,” according to Mayor Bland.
However, not everyone was on-board with this thought. Councilman George Thomas thinks it’s too much of a hassle for the city to be responsible for at this point in time.
“My concern is we have enough obligations at the present time without accepting another obligation. We’d have a building to deal with. we’d have another property to deal with. Not only the cost of maintaining the insurance and the utilities of that building, but the possibility of the deterioration of that building, so there are a lot of liabilities we’d have to accept with no assurance that we could do anything with the property.” -Thomas
More things are set to be discussed until this goes before City Council to be voted on, but Mayor Bland hopes to see it all the way through and find a positive use for it.