Franklin County commissioners approved a land swap Wednesday for identically-sized pieces of property near TRAC.
The county will get a strip of land fronting Interstate 182 between Road 68 and Convention Place after trading 0.87 acres with Scott Musser, who will get county-owned land directly behind the county’s property, said attorney Bronson Brown.
“This will allow the county to potentially develop that land,” Brown said.
A car dealership is a possible use for the property, he said.
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A new My Place extended stay hotel recently opened in the area and a Hampton Inn has been proposed. A Holiday Inn Express has operated near TRAC for years.
Musser’s property had been landlocked from street access.
State law required the swap between the county and a private landowner to be approved by Superior Court, Brown said. Judge Vic VanderSchoor recently approved the move.
“This is s a unique transaction,” Brown said.
An appraisal showed both the county and Musser’s properties to be worth $5 per square foot, Brown said.
The land is valuable to the county for economic development purposes, Commissioner Brad Peck said. But Peck recused himself from voting because of his friendship with Musser.
“I don’t think I really have a conflict of interest,” Peck said. “I just like to be extra cautious.”
Musser, who did not attend the meeting, could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
Also Wednesday, commissioners approved an $8,000 budget transfer to the coroner’s office. Coroner Dan Blasdel said his office has performed 25 autopsies this year, an unusually high number. The extra money will allow him to do two more autopsies by the end of 2014.
“I don’t anticipate more than two unless, you know, things go to hell in a handbasket,” he said.