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IDA agrees to school board's price
BOE wants 25 acres in Research Forest
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The Effingham County Industrial Development Authority is ready to come to terms with the school system on a land deal.

The Effingham County Board of Education has asked the IDA for 25 acres in the Research Forest Tract, and the IDA agreed to the asking price of $15,000 per acre at its board meeting Thursday morning. That price would put the IDA at a break even point for the land it purchased in the Research Forest Tract, Chief Executive Officer John Henry said.

“There are incidentals, and there are positive benefits above and beyond the price,” he said.

The school system plans to build a bus maintenance facility on the land, and the location — in the northwest corner of the IDA’s Research Forest Tract — is central to its existing schools. It would be the first facility in the tract, and the new bus barn could spur further infrastructure work.

“I think it’s a very good thing,” IDA chairman Chap Bennett said of the deal.

IDA members, in approving the sale price, asked that the school board begin work within 18 months and also asked to review site plans and elevations. They also have asked for a right of first refusal — until a certificate of occupancy is issued — if the school board offers the land to a third party.

“They want to move immediately,” Henry said of the school board.

The school system had offers of $15,000 an acre on other areas, according to Henry.

“But those locations weren’t as good as this one,” he said.