Tuesday, March 11, 2008

School Board And Developers At Odds Over Land Sale In Sienna

From FortBendNow:

FBISD Trustees Approve $3.35 Million Land Purchase
by John Pape, FortBendNow

Fort Bend ISD trustees approved the purchase of a total of 77 acres of property from H.W. Sienna L.P. for more than $3.35 million, but not without some hard questioning of Superintendent Timothy Jenney and some scolding of the seller by one trustee.

The sale of the two parcels of land, 62 acres and 15 acres, at a cost of $1 per square foot came only two week after trustees voted to buy 110 acres from Hannover Estates at a cost of $5.3 million. While discussions of both sales occurred in closed executive session as allowed by state law, it became apparent during the public approval discussion that there were some apparent hard feelings between the district and H.W. Sienna over the deal.

During the open discussion it was revealed that the Hannover site was the board’s second choice, but H.W. Sienna’s asking price for the preferred location was too high. Only after the board approved the purchase of the Hannover property did H.W. Sienna come back to the table and lower their price.

Jenny told trustees that H.W. Sienna’s initial price was $1.15 per square foot, but after the board approved the Hannover purchase that price was dropped by $503,118 to $3,354,120.

The property, which is located south of the end of Sienna Parkway, would be used for future campus sites, possibly including a high school, two elementary schools or an alternative center. A final decision on which facilities would be located on the site will not take place until after a 60-day feasibility study has been completed.

Jenney said that the Hannover site, which is located off of FM 521 in the Arcola area, would still be useful to the district.

“We would use the property for other educational purposes,” Jenney said. “We feel this is a good investment.”

During a series of pointed questions about the purchase, Board President Cynthia Knox asked if the price was the only driving factor behind Jenney’s recommendation that the board approve buying the additional site. Jenney said that the decision was primarily economic, but the preferred location was also a factor.

Commenting on the proposal, Trustee Steve Smelley scolded a representative of H.W. Sienna for the way the company handled the negotiations.

“The process that we’ve gone through has been the most agonizing process that I’ve seen in my 9 years on this board,” Smelley said. . . get the full story at: http://www.fortbendnow.com/pages/full_story?page_label=home&id=22145&article-FBISD-Trustees-Approve--3-35-Million-Land-Purchase%20=&widget=push&instance=home_news_bullets&open=&




Question: Do you trust Allen Owen, mayor of Missouri City, TX, to represent you rather than his Houston corporate backers?




3%  participating said yes  (n20)


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(N) sample =  632


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