Approval of Land Exchange Agreement with Gallup McKinley County Schools
This agenda item requests Council approval for the City to enter into the attached land exchange agreement with the Gallup McKinley County School District. It is important to both the City and the School District that this exchange occur as soon as possible.
The City’s urgency is due to funding to complete a new public safety building becoming available July 1. As the existing building will remain in operation during construction, the City needs land and a building, preferably in close proximity to the public safety building, to securely store impounded vehicles and other evidentiary items. The School District is relocating its bus facility and will no longer need the “bus barn” property that is located immediately to the south of the public safety building.
The School District’s urgency is that it has obtained funding to construct housing for teachers that are employed by the School District, but does not currently own land that is appropriately located on which to build such housing. The City owns property south of Rocky View Elementary that was at one time intended to be used for a National Guard Armory but has remained vacant as the Armory was ultimately built on Hasler Valley Road and the City has no use for the property.
Both properties were appraised by American Property-Consultants and Appraisers and the appraised values are essentially identical with the property currently owned by the School District having an appraised value of $675,000 and the property currently owned by the City having an appraised value of $685,000.
For the most part, the terms of proposed land exchange agreement are standard terms included in land purchase agreements, however there are some contingencies that are unique. They include:
- The School District must obtain Public Education Department and State Board of Finance approval. While there is no reason to suspect that such approval will not be obtained, the agreement is contingent upon the approvals.
- State law and the Gallup Subdivision Regulations require that the property the City will acquire be subdivided prior to sale. The property that the School District will acquire is not currently zoned for multi-family housing which is the type of housing that the School District intends to build. NM appellate courts have never addressed the issue of whether school districts are subject to municipal zoning regulation. A 2005 NM Attorney General’s opinion answers the question with an unequivocal “maybe.” Historically, GMCS has complied with Gallup’s zoning requirements.) Therefore the agreement is contingent upon approval of a subdivision plat for the bus barn property and a zoning change for the property the School District will be acquiring. As those approvals are granted by the City, the contingency is for the protection of the School District.
- The City would like to obtain a Phase I Environmental report on the bus barn property. While there aren’t currently any concerns about environmental hazards on the property, if environmental hazards are located in the future, current law would prevent the City from obtaining Brownfields funding unless a Phase I is conducted prior to it obtaining title to the property. If the Phase I does reveal potentially significant environmental concerns, the City may terminate the agreement.
- Fiscal Impact:
- Cost of a Phase I Environmental Report (approx. $3000).
- approval of the land exchange agreement with GMCS
- Speaker's Name
- Curtis Hayes