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Tension grows between Monroe County B.O.E. and local developer over 12-acres

Otis Ingram owns a piece of property the Monroe County Board of Education says they want.
FORSYTH, MACON (41NBC/WMGT) - There's tension between Monroe County's  Board of Education, and a local land developer over 12-acres of land near Mary Persons High School.

Land developer, Otis Ingram says the board wants him to give up the land at a lower cost than what its worth.

"If they need it for the common community good and they can show good justification for it, then pay me fair market value. Don't steal it from me,” says Ingram.

Monroe County Board of Educations attorney Ben Vaugh says the board brought in an appraiser, and now theyre ready to negotiate a deal.

“The board has offered the fair market value of the property as it's been determined by an independent appraisal of the property of approximately 170,000 dollars to Mr. Ingram," says Vaughn.

According to Vaughn, Ingram replied.

"The counteroffer of Mr. Ingram has been 1.5 million for the property," says Vaughn.

The board hopes to buy the land from Ingram, but if they have to use eminent domain, Vaughn says the members will.

"The board would obviously much prefer Mr. Ingram donate the property to the school, or allow the school to purchase it at a reasonable fair market price," says Vaughn.

"I'm entitled to what's fair and I think the school board is abusing their power,” says Ingram.

The developer said he planned to use the land for senior living homes, and doesn’t understand why the Monroe County Board of Education needs the extra property.

Vaughn says the extra land space will grant the board more room near the high school and the board’s office for an agriculture-science center. Members also want to straighten the road buses take in order to “make it safer for the children.”

Superintendent Anthony Pack did not want to go on camera, but says the land will also give visitors more parking space during football games, and events.

Vaughn also wants to clarify, in the future, the fine arts center will be built on the current land they own.

On May 27 at the Monroe County Board Education at 5 p.m., a public meeting is set to discuss the future plans of the property, the value of the land and possibly taking Ingram to court.

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