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City, school district set to execute land swap

The city and school district land swap would allow the city to expand the Pop Austin Recreation Center, among other projects.
The city and school district land swap would allow the city to expand the Pop Austin Recreation Center, among other projects. mowen@ledger-enquirer.com

The city and the Muscogee County School District are poised to execute a land swap that will give the school district property upon which to expand and the city land to use for transportation and recreational purposes, according to Columbus Council’s Tuesday agenda.

The land swap, originally proposed in December 2014, will cede city property on Fort Benning and Cusseta roads to the school district in exchange for property on Buena Vista Road and Alexander Street. Because the city property is valued at almost $1.5 million and the school district property at almost $700,000, the school district will also pay the city almost $750,000 to cover the difference, city documents show.

That money would then be placed in an Enterprise Zone fund to be used for south Columbus redevelopment projects.

Columbus Council and the Muscogee County School Board must approve the swap before it can be executed.

The school district property at 1125 Alexander St. currently has a reversionary clause stating it must be used for educational purposes only. Once the contracts for the swap are signed, the school district will have 180 days to get the clause removed or it will revert to the district’s ownership and the district will then pay the city $506,000 to cover the balance. If the clause is removed and it stays in the city’s hands, the land could be used to expand the Pop Austin Recreation facility, which is adjacent to the land.

The land on Buena Vista Road, which is adjacent to Brewer Elementary School between Buena Vista and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, will be used in the “spiderweb” improvement project.

The city’s land is at 1000, 1026, 1030, 1044 and 1102 Fort Benning Road, and 3970, 3966, 3960, 3954 and 3832 Cusseta Road.

The closing costs for this transaction will be split between the City and the School District.

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