HOWELL, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Transportation wants to buy six acres of land from Howell Public Schools for a new freeway exchange off Interstate 96, but the district says the $237,000 the state is offering is far less than market value, according to reports by the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus.

The site, home to a now-closed elementary school, has been appraised at $1.55 million, the Daily Press & Argus reported.

While the district agrees that the project is needed, school code requires Howell Public Schools to receive fair-market value, Associate Superintendent Rick Terres said in a memo to the board, the Press & Argus reported. The board tabled the issue at a recent meeting.

Other options may be to grant a right-of-way access or other temporary agreement, allowing work on the project to continue while the price is negotiated, Superintendent Ron Wilson said, according to the Press & Argus.

Meanwhile, Genoa Township and the Livingston County Board of Commissioners each has pledged $1.5 million toward the project, and the road commission managing director said he expects bids to be let on the project this winter, according to the Press & Argus.

SOURCES:

Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, “Howell school district balks at offer for Latson property,” Sept. 12, 2011

Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, “Official on interchange: We’re close,” Sept. 14, 2011

FURTHER READING:

Michigan Education Digest, “More school buildings up for sale,” Feb. 15, 2011

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