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Subcommittee OKs estimates ahead of town buildings' sale

January 05, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Several town buildings took another step toward being sold Monday when the General Government subcommittee unanimously recommended approval of a contract to appraise those properties.

Town Manager Christopher Clark said he intends to fund the $9,950 cost "from various funding sources related to the various structures," such as maintenance line items.

After a short discussion, the panel granted the contract to Maria Hopkins Associates of Paxton for five "summary appraisals," a process more detailed than a basic appraisal, he noted. Clark said he received five bids, but three of them "were significantly higher — one was double the price."

Assessor Wilfrid Cournoyer said none of the applicants were from Southbridge; he noted he did not know of anyone in town who is certified to appraise commercial property. One man he spoke with, a residential appraiser, recommended both of the lower bidders, he added.

At issue are properties the manager hopes to sell to raise funds for the new school project — Wells Junior High School, 70 Foster St., 115 Marcy St., and 114 and 62 Pleasant St. Except for Wells, they have assessed values between $318,000 and $971,000, but such values are not generally seen as useful on the commercial market because they don't actually pay any taxes now. That also applies to Wells, which is assessed at about $6.3 million.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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