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Buice property belongs to county
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Forsyth County News

Come Monday, it's official. Forsyth County will own its third green space property.

The deadline passed for the county to terminate a sales agreement on what is referred to as the Buice property, about 43 acres off Nichols Road in southwestern Forsyth.

The county paid $5.1 million, or $120,000 per acre, according to County Attorney Ken Jarrard. Of that, $10,000 was put up as earnest money so the county could get out of the contract during the 60-day period that followed the vote.

The board voted 3-2 to approve the purchase contract Dec. 4. Commissioners Charles Laughinghouse and Jim Harrell opposed the measure.

Laughinghouse said the county sent out surveyors to inspect the property during the 60-day period, but that he was not convinced it was a good use of the voter-approved $100 million bond for parks and recreation.

"You hate spending that much money for property that really doesn't stand out as green space," Laughinghouse said.

"But the board has made that decision and approved it. Not much I can do with that."

Commissioner Brian Tam thought the property was worthy.

"Its location is great," Tam said. "It's in one of the most densely populated areas of the county, and it's right across the street from a high school scheduled to open later this year."

The property is near Lambert High School, which is also on Nichols Road. It's slated to open in August for the 2009-10 school year.

Tam said the property would also lend itself to a potential recreation center as well as walking and biking trails.

Laughinghouse said it could be a couple years before anything happens with the property.

"Funds are coming in slow," Laughinghouse said. "Right now, we're just acquiring the property."

The money to prepare the sites for recreation will come from other sources, including impact fees.

The county also has bought the Wallace Tatum property, which includes 186 acres in northwestern Forsyth, and the

Harrison property, 63 acres in south Forsyth, with $36 million from the bond.