School board wants more information on appraisers

Vernon. The Vernon Township School District Board of Education is requesting further information on appraisers who have respond to requests for information on appraising school buildings.

24 Nov 2019 | 02:38

The Vernon Township School District Board of Education is going to further investigate two companies that sent the district information regarding appraisals on its school buildings.

Both Affiliated Appraisal Group and Ard Appraisal group have both given estimates Business Administrator Steve Kepnes.

Kepnes said Affiliated sent an email saying one school could be appraised for $2,600 and the bill could run up to $9,000 for five schools.

Ard, however, sent Kepnes a 2-page letter, saying it would could appraise one school for $4,000, and then each additional school for $3,200, running the total to $16,800 if the Board of Education wanted five of the schools looked at.

The company also said it could have an appraisal done within 25-30 days of receiving written authorization to proceed.

Board of Education member Kelly Mitchell questioned how Affiliated could appraise a school for $2,600.

"I don't have enough to data and understand what kind of approach they're doing," Mitchell said.

School board President Brad Sparta was concerned about pushing a decision until the next work session – scheduled for Dec. 12 – because the upcoming holiday season could delay the results.

“Then you’re getting into the holidays where them getting it done for January meeting is slim,” Sparta said.

So far, the Board of Education has looked at the savings the district would draw from the closing of either Walnut Ridge school or Cedar Mountain Primary School. As of the Nov. 14 work session, the Board of Education was learning toward Walnut Ridge.

"I understand you don't want to wait another 2-3 weeks with the holidays coming up, but I do feel like we're shooting in the dark here trying to make a decision," Board of Education Vice President Justin Annunziata said.

Even with Kepnes reaching out to the companies for more information, Sparta remains concerned about future board inaction on this subject.