The former South Carroll Senior Center building on Johnsville Road in Eldersburg is one of 23 surplus properties that Carroll County government will seek to sell as a means to raise money for road improvement projects
The site has been vacant since late 2009, when the county opened the new South Carroll Senior and Community Center on Mineral Hill Road, in Eldersburg, and last week the Board of County Commissioners voted to put the building and its 2.6-acre tract on the sales block.
If sold, the property could bring the county a decent profit — the site was conveyed for free from the Board of Education when its use as Johnsville Elementary School was done in 1978, and the county's most recent assessment now values the building and property at $1.11 million.
Turning over properties — and achieving proceeds for county coffers — was at the heart of the commissioners' vote last week to dispose of 23 properties across the county.
This past summer, the commissioners had directed Thomas Rio, director of the Department of Public Works, to look at county properties and recommend if some could be sold. At the commissioners' Dec. 20 meeting, Rio said 23 parcels — ranging in size from small slivers to 35 acres — have no foreseeable future use by the county.
Board of County Commissioners President Doug Howard, of Eldersburg, motioned to sell the properties to fund future road construction projects
Commissioner Haven Shoemaker, of Hampstead, backed that measure, while Commissioner Robin Frazier, of Taneytown voted against it, saying she wanted to study whether roads were the best place for the money to go. The motion passed 2-1, with commissioners Richard Rothschild and David Roush absent.
County officials indicated there's no real timetable for the properties to be sold, and the county report suggested some will have challenges in the real estate marketplace. For instance, a .12-acre site off Liberty Road in Eldersburg has no development potential, and was once seen as a possible billboard site; and a 2-acre tract off Route 97 is simply a driveway, and carries a notation that its current use "has implications for (its) method of sale/disposal."
But others have stronger potential. A 14-acre site off Route 97 in Westminster could net three or four housing lots, and has an assessed value of $500,000. A 7.6-acre property off Brehm Road, also in Westminster, could yield five or six hosing lots, based on its current zoning, also valued at $500,000.
The list of properties is as follows:
• Barnes Properties, Route 97, Westminster ... about 14 acres
• Campus Heights, Parcel B, Route 97, Westminster ... 2.33 acres
• Hook Road Property, Westminster ... 11.11 acres
• Clark Manor Properties, Chiseled Stone Road and Pine Brook Farm Road ... 35.148 acres
• Joneal Property, Route 97 and Old Liberty Road ... 16.757 acres
• 7635 Old Washington Road, Eldersburg ... 2.0965 acres
• Elm Street Extended, Westminster ... 0.1377 acre
• Stoffle Property, Hanover Pike, Manchester ... 5.976 acres
• Lippy Property, John Owings Road, Westminster ... 0.3 acre
• Kermisch Property, off Liberty Road, Eldersburg ... 0.1250 acre