OSCODA – Oscoda Area Schools (OAS) will no longer be an acting landlord, as its Board of Education awarded a bid to sell Cedar Lake Elementary School, an action taken during its meeting held on Feb. 12.
Adam Curley of Oscoda and Kenneth Tamm of New Orleans, La. submitted the only bid to purchase the district-owned building for $1,111.
Voting was unanimous, with the exception of Treasurer Tim Kellstrom, who abstained, explaining Curley is his brother-in-law.
The school closed down as of June 30, 2012. Since that time, the district allowed non profit organizations to use the building and has leased portions of the facility to businesses since 2013, following its property rezoned from a low density residential district to the general business district.
As previously reported, maintenance fee costs are more than $30,000 per year to keep heat, electricity and the building running. Superintendent Scott Moore had said, although the building’s expenses are nearly covered with rent revenues from tenants, the funding is not enough.
Officials voted to sell the building on Dec. 11, 2017 and accepted bids until Feb. 6.
A letter from Tamm was provided to board members just before the meeting.
“It is my hope to purchase and redevelop this vacant property into a viable tax-collecting entity that would be most beneficial and have the greatest impact to the local community,” stated Tamm.
He added he is considering different options on how the former school could best be redeveloped and states he welcomes any suggestions or ideas from local community members on how they would like to see the property be put back into use.
Moore said current tenants will not be immediately evicted. He said he is committed to finding an alternative location for the baby pantry, as well as the food giveaway programs.
“This represents the end of an era,” said Secretary Mary Reitler, mentioning other district buildings no longer owned by OAS – County Line, Glennie and Oscoda Elementary.
“I know it’s only brick and mortar. It’s the people that made them what they were,” Reitler said, adding the bid award is bittersweet, that there are many good memories and recognizes the district is being fiscally responsible.
Neither Tamm or Curley were in attendance. According to Tamm’s letter, they intend to execute a purchase agreement at the earliest possible date.
In other business:
• Moore informed the board early notification voluntary resignations were received from three teachers: Marlana Blamer, Karen MacGregor and Steven Spenceley, which will take effect at the end of the school year. Also, bus driver Steven Connors has resigned.
• Individuals newly hired are James Tester as a full-time custodian, Don Axline as a boys soccer coach, Christine Byrne as a girls soccer coach and Tucker Whitley as a junior varsity softball coach.
• Approved as school volunteers this month are: Owen Sinclair Cecil III, Raymond and Tammy Ruemenapp, Shane Travis and Tammy Yates.
• Approved an annual resolution naming April as Social Host Responsibility Month.
• Convened into closed session for the purpose of employee contract negotiations.