At its May 19 meeting, the city schools board of education voted to approve the termination of a real estate purchase contract with the Gallia County Board of Commissioners concerning the parcel that is part of the school district’s property in Centenary. That land is home to Green Elementary School and the new Gallia Academy High School. County Administrator Karen Sprague informed attorneys for the city school district on April 23 that the county was terminating the sale agreement because it had reached an agreement with the City of Gallipolis concerning sewer service for Green Township.
The sale of the land, which was approved by the board of education on Jan. 14 of this year, became a point of contention in the minds of some school district residents who found the idea of a sewer treatment facility so close to Green Elementary and the new GAHS to be distasteful. It was also claimed by some that the sale of the property for that purpose violated an agreement the district had made with the Pitchford family, from whom the district purchased the land, that stated that the land would only be utilized for educational purposes.
Board of education members explained during the Jan. 14 meeting that the sale agreement between the district and the county commission was made to help facilitate the county’s grant application process for the sewer treatment facility and for the county to be in compliance with U.S. EPA deadlines. During a Dec. 16, 2009, city school board meeting, County Commisson President Joe Foster told the board of education and audience members present that the county was under mandate by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to address sewer issues in areas of the county identified by EPA studies. Those areas included Green Township, the Kanauga-Addison area and Mercerville.
However, as previously noted, since the sale contract was approved in January, the county commission and the City of Gallipolis have reached an agreement in which the city will extend sewer service to Green Township. That made it possible for the city school board and county commission to terminate the deal the two bodies had made.