HOWELL – SOLD: slightly used building but in good condition as administration offices for the township’s Board of Education.
The Howell Board of Education building at 198-200 Squankum-Yellowbrook Road was owned by the Township and was put up for sale to the highest bidder recently. It featured a minimum asking price bid of $1.45 million.
Bids were opened on the morning of Oct. 17 and the winning bid unsurprisingly went to the New Jersey American Water Company. The property surrounding the building is owned by the utility and the firm had been reported as previously having had an interest in it.
“New Jersey American Water submitted a bid to Howell Township in response to their public auction for the property, which is directly adjacent to our Oak Glen Water Treatment Plant and would be a natural extension of our existing property there. The bid was accepted by the town and an agreement of sale is being negotiated,” Chelsea Simkins Kulp, external affairs manager for New Jersey American Water said on Oct. 24.
The current plan is for the Board of Education’s administration offices to now move to Town Hall on Route 9.
The new owner must demolish a house that is on the property and is also required to follow all zoning regulations and codes for the township’s Special Economic Development zone. This includes rectifying any zoning violations prior to the date of the property’s closing.
Previously, the school district paid $10,000 annually in rent until 2011. That price dropped significantly between 2011-2016 when they paid $1 each year.
The property is estimated to add approximately $32,000 to the township’s tax rolls.
Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Evelyn O’Donnell, Councilman John Bonevich, Councilwoman Pamela Richmond and Councilman Thomas Russo each voted in the affirmative on a motion to authorizing the sale of the property which was deemed no longer needed for public use.
The approved resolution included an appraisal report prepared for the property which determined the parcel’s fair market value at $1.2 million. The sale of the property will be conducted by the township’s purchasing agent Michael Rizzo.
Board of Education President Mark A. Bonjavanni stressed that “this is a win-win for the taxpayers of Howell. There was nothing wrong with the building and it was used but the township approached us about this and is providing us space at the same cost we already paid. Now the taxpayers will benefit from the sale.”