If you were selling your own home, would you limit your marketing efforts to one ad in The Groton Herald and a posting in an obscure website that required prospective buyers to pay a subscription fee in order to view your listing? Well, that is all that our town leaders have done in an attempt to dispose of unneeded municipal properties including the Prescott School and the old Center Fire Station.
The Spring Town Meeting Warrant has several articles that ask taxpayers for authorization to essentially give away these assets! The Prescott School building has an assessed value of $2,031,600 yet we are being asked to let it go for the paltry sum of $35,000. The Center Fire Station has an assessed value of $566,100 and the current offer is only $100,000. I know with absolute certainly that there are ready, willing, and able buyers prepared to pay more than $100,000.
We are all co-owners of these properties and we deserve to receive fair market value for them when they are sold. The only way to determine fair market value is to greatly broaden the reach of our marketing efforts. The fact that all offers for these properties have come from Groton residents is evidence that we haven’t done anywhere near enough.
Our selectmen seem to understand this and have formed a committee to discuss ways of casting a wider net, perhaps utilizing the services of a Realtor who could market the property through the Multiple Listing Service and assist prospective buyers with the cumbersome bid process. Ironically, the initial meeting of this committee is scheduled for April 30th, two days after town meeting begins.
Please join me in voting no on all articles related to the disposition of town-owned real estate. There is no compelling reason to ram these deals through right now. Give this new committee some time to develop a better plan. If we do this, we will see these articles again at Fall Town Meeting with much fairer sale prices!
John H. Carver, Broker-Owner