Superintendent updates board on land purchase

Oxford Schools is trying to close quickly on the 13.6 acres of land adjacent to Oxford High School and secure the $500,000 purchase by Dec. 31, but that might not happen. The district is trying to close on the property by that time for tax and cost purposes.

Superintendent Tim Throne stressed to the board of education at its Dec. 11 meeting that he and his team are working as quickly as they can, but do not want to work so fast that details fall through the cracks. He wants to avoid a scenario where a missed detail ends up being detrimental for the district later on.

“It’s not due to lack of time and energy and effort on our part or the people we have engaged to act on behalf of the district,” Throne said.”It’s just that there’s a lot to do in a short period of time.”

If the district cannot close on the property by the year’s end, it will pay taxes for the property next year and, as the purchase agreement lists Dec. 31 as the deadline, could look at paying more than the agreed upon $500,000. But, the deadline date can be moved back should the district need to take more time and failure to close on the property by Dec. 31 will not result in the district losing the property.

Some board members raised concern about the board’s ability to act when the new members replace the outgoing Mark Stepek, Jenny Guthrie and Joyce Brasington in the new year. But, Throne said he does not anticipate the new faces on the board will present any procedural problems in the purchase.

Throne said he will continue to update the board about the purchase as information becomes available to him.

“I will definitely keep the board up to date as we move forward,” he said.

The board of education will meet again on Dec. 18 at Lakeville Elementary School. Meetings start at 6:30 p.m.