Mayor Bell interested in buying 16 TPS properties

In a letter from Toledo Mayor Mike Bell to TPS Superintendent Jerry Pecko, Bell states an "intent to acquire" 16 properties no longer used by the school system.

The Lucas County Auditor's assessed value for 14 of the 16 properties stands at over $1.53 million, money council members say isn't there.

Another issue is a prior land swap deal. That deal states the school district would get land if they give some of their own down the road.

"Originally, what we had worked out is that TPS would get park land to build new schools, and the city would receive the property in exchange for that," says Councilman George Sarantou.

Most of these TPS-owned properties now sit vacant. The acquisition of these locations by the city was intended to give green space to the neighborhoods surrounding them.

They were meant to be used for a community garden, a park, or whatever the neighborhood may decide.

The idea, according to Councilman D. Michael Collins, is great, but only in theory. He says planning for the land buy is a waste of time.

"I can tell you, without any equivocation, there is no money to be able to fulfill our responsibilities as the buyer of this property," says Collins.

A spokeperson for TPS says they are going to wait until a deal is final before they give comments.

There was no word as to why the city has not received land from TPS in the original swap deal.