xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Carroll commissioners looking to sell excess properties

Interesting in buying an old school, commercial property or house?

The Carroll County Board of Commissioners is exploring selling some of its excess properties in an attempt to cut down on the number of houses, buildings and properties it owns, maintains and manages. Some properties were purchased to make way for new bypasses, road extensions and parks, while others previously housed county facilities.

Advertisement

If the improvement projects are no longer planned or the county no longer needs the properties, the commissioners want to sell the properties, which includes the old Johnsville School, the Wheeler Building, 14 houses and 20 pieces of land.

Several county departments - including parks and recreation; land use, planning and development; and economic development - are looking at other uses for the properties before the board decides whether to sell them. The board, which discussed the issue Thursday, hasn't decided if it will sell the excess properties at auction or by using a real estate agent.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The properties vary greatly from a one-story, brick rancher on Watersville Road in Mount Airy to 14 acres of land off of Md. 97 in Westminster. Some properties are being rented while others sit vacant, gathering dust, according to Tom Rio, director of public works. No matter if the properties are vacant or being rented, Rio said the county has to maintain them.

With so many different properties to manage, Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier, R-District 1, said it could be a good idea to hire a property manager. A property manager would be better than the county at determining the rental prices for the houses the county currently rents to people, she said.

With houses being rented to people for as little as a couple hundred dollars a month, Commissioner Richard Rothschild, R-District 4, said the prices are way too low. The county can be renting those properties for three times as much, he said.

"Real estate is a difficult business," Rothschild said. "And renting properties is even harder."

Advertisement

Having a professional handle those properties instead of county staff could result in some savings for the county, Frazier said. A property manager would also lessen the workload on already-busy public works staff, she said.

Aside from the excess properties, Frazier said she wanted to know how much space was vacant in buildings currently being used by the county. Having that information would enable the county to use empty space more effectively and give space to those county departments and agencies that need it.

Rio said he would gather the additional information and present it to the board at a later time.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement