Bass offers to build roads on property

Monday, September 17, 2007 | 8:06 p.m. CDT; updated 11:05 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — If Columbia Public Schools decides to build its next high school on Tom Bass’ property, Bass and his business partners would build two roads bordering its north and east sides.

“The general gist is, if they buy the property, we build the necessary roads,” Bass said.

Last week, Bass made an offer to the district to sell 70 acres north of Interstate 70 and east of Range Line Street for $3.5 million. Because he submitted the proposal late, it has not been reviewed by an engineering firm the district hired to check over other properties being considered for the high school.

Whether the Bass property will be considered is likely to be decided at a meeting tonight of a citizens’ committee charged with recommending a site to the Columbia School Board. Minus the Bass property, there are five sites.

The roads Bass said he would build are part of the Columbia Area Transportation Study Organization’s 2025 master transportation plan. The plan shows where roads have to go if the land is developed. Bass would have to build Hackberry and Edmenton roads.

City planning Director Tim Teddy said that the city does not pay to build streets within new subdivisions.

“In general terms, if that roadway is inside the tract of land that would be offered to the high school, the obligation would be on the property owner to put some kind of improvement there,” Teddy said. He is a member of the district’s site committee.

Bass is offering 70 acres out of a 135-acre parcel. Hackberry Road would run across the school site’s northernmost boundary.

“Hackberry would be four lanes with a grass median down the center, the same size as Providence Road,” Bass said.

The road would run east to west through Bass’ property.

Edmenton Road would extend north from the Auburn Hills subdivision to Hackberry Road. The two-lane road would be 38 feet wide, Bass said.

Bass does not expect to make a substantial profit if the school district buys the land.

“It’d take a couple million dollars to put all these roads in,” he said. “We’re paying for all these improvements; all they’re paying for is the land,”

The city would pay for the upkeep of built roads, Teddy said.

Infrastructure such as sewer, water and natural gas are in place on the property.

In addition to Bass, the owners are his sisters, Drew Stull and Mary Wanless, as well as Shawn and Matt Spencer, who are brothers.

If the school district buys the land, Bass would sell the remaining 65 acres to other buyers. He said he currently has no specific buyers in mind.

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