Those Who Petitioned For Sale Of OMS Property To Highest Bidder Speak Out

Mon 3-2-2020

(Arnolds Park)-- Backers of a petition that called for a vote on the sale of the Okoboji Middle School property to the highest bidder are speaking out on the matter.

In a written statement the group, "Citizens for Excellence In Okoboji Schools" claims the bidding process was rushed and that some other factors resulted in the district not getting higher bids out of the property.

Meeting in special session last Thursday, the school board acknowledged $1.1 million dollars was the highest bid that was submitted during an online process. School officials said the district won't be getting that full amount because $55,000 will have to be paid in commission to companies that marketed the property in a nationwide campaign.

Imagine Iowa Great Lakes made an offer of $1.1 million for the property last year, but a petition calling for the district to sell it to the highest bidder went to a public referendum and was approved by voters. Some say that resulted in the district taking a hit on the revenue it will receive from the sale, when it could have had the full $1.1 million under the previous offer. Those who mounted the petition drive say they shouldn't be blamed for that. School officials Thursday said they followed the language and intent of the petition.

A public hearing to finalize the sale will be held at 5:25 pm March 16th in the board room at the Okoboji Schools District Office in Milford.

You can read the statement from Citizens for Excellence In Okoboji Schools by clicking here.