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District to seek lower county appraisal of school


The Grand Coulee Dam School District is going to try to make it easier for parties to take another look at purchasing Center School and its adjacent property.

The district had advertised for bids earlier this summer for the vacated elementary school sitting on about 8.3 acres of property. No one submitted a bid.

District Superintendent Dennis Carlson told members of the school board that real estate tax issues prevented at least one local party from making a bid on the building and property.

Grant County had appraised the building and property at $2.7 million, making tax obligations a factor for anyone purchasing the property. A purchaser would immediately have to start paying taxes at what Carlson called an “inflated” value.

The school district’s private appraisal prior to the bid offering came in at $190,000. That appraisal took into account what it would cost to either demolish the building or renovate it to make the building usable.

Carlson said he would sit down with the county assessor and explain the cost of disposing of or remodeling the building to see if he could get the county to change the way it appraised the Center School property.

The district purchased the school and property for $155,000 late last year in an effort to eventually get it on the tax rolls. The site was owned by the Continental Land Company which had provided the land for a school decades ago, but with a clause stating it would revert back to the company if it no longer was used for a school.

If the school district is successful in getting the county to change its appraisal, then the property again can be offered for sale under conditions more favorable to a buyer.

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