Tiverton Town Council Makes School Buildings Sale Discussion Public
After keeping the details of the bidding process on the Nonquit and Ranger schools in closed executive session, the Tiverton Town Council will invite public comment on the three bids received at the Aug. 14 council meeting.
Tiverton residents are invited to weigh in on the sale of the Nonquit and Walter Ranger schools at the next Town Council meeting, according to town officials.
Up until now bid amounts and who cast those bids has been kept behind closed doors in executive session. The decision to seal the bids was a strategic one on part of the town and its real estate broker, Hogan & Associates, intended to encourage higher bids.
"Generally with the public buildings like this the sealed bid is the best," Jeff Brooks of Hogan & Associates told Patch during an interview in June. "Everyone would submit (bids) with an expectation so the bids will be the highest and best right out of the gate."
According to Town Manager James Goncalo, the decision to move the discussion into the public forum was not prompted by the criticism by residents, but rather a natural progression after bidding closed on July 23. The first round of bidding, which ended on June 15, garnered a single bid for the Ranger School.
"We are now taking it into open session and soliciting discussion and input from the public on Aug. 14," said Goncalo. "The [bid] closing was on June 15 and we only received one bid for the Ranger School so with Nonquit having no bids we extended it... to July 23. We indicated that a 5297599ny bids received by the 23rd of July will be the bids that we have."
Since the town will not be soliciting additional bids, it's time for bids to enter the public sector.
The bid extension paid off, as the Nonquit School received two bids on the final day of solicitation, said Goncalo.
- Walter Ranger School: located at 1185 Stafford Road.
- A single bid for $25,750 was received for the Ranger School by Property Assessors, LLC, naming John A. Pagliarini as the principal.
According to Goncalo, Property Assossors intends to raze the 22,000 square- foot-building.
Patch reported in June that the Ranger School's assessed value for the entire property and building is $1,056,000. The bid was received on June 15.
- Nonquit School: located at 117 Puncateest Neck Road.
- The Nonquit Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving local heritage and culture, offered $40,000 for the property.
The Nonquit Center, which is currently operating under the name Tiverton Four Corners Center for Arts and Education, woud turn the building into a gathering space where local heritage, environment, arts and agriculture would be celebrated.
Even if the center achieved federal 501c3 status, Goncalo said Tiverton taxpayers would not be penalized because the nonprofit designation would not exempt the organization from paying property taxes.
"There would be no negative impact on the town," said Goncalo.
- A second offer for $51,000 on the Nonquit School is by a Little Compton resident, Dr. Denise Fleurant, of 552 West Main Road.
According to an offer to purchase memo, Fleurant intends to create a mixed-use facility that would combine a single-family residence with a senior country daycare/cognitive rehabilitation center.
The Nonquit School's assesed value is $1,072,000, according to Hogan & Associates. Both bids for the Nonquit School were received on July 23.