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Hall Schools get $1,500 from pole mixup

By Georgia law, department must own property its structures are on

POSTED: May 18, 2011 11:47 p.m.

As budget woes build, a small silver lining emerged at this week's Hall County Schools Board of Education meeting.

The system recently made a cool $1,500, district employee Damon Gibbs told the board Monday. Not with painful salary cuts or scaled back programming but with, of all things, a traffic light.

"When (the Department of Transportation) did the widening of Atlanta Highway right in front of South Hall Middle School they purchased right of way from Hall County Schools," Gibbs later said. "And when they installed the traffic signal there they actually placed two poles by accident on our property."

So the DOT made the district an offer: $1,500 for the sliver of land around the two posts.

The board of education swiftly — but only after a few laughs — approved the sale Monday night.

The lights were installed a few years back, but DOT personnel only realized the mistake two months ago when finishing final paperwork on the project, according to department spokeswoman Teri Pope.

By Georgia law, the department must own the property its structures are on.

Pope said the DOT received the school board's signed option on Tuesday and expects the sale to be final within a month.

As the school board moved on with its meeting Monday night, Superintendent Will Schofield made one simple request.

It would be helpful, he said, if the DOT could misplace a few thousand of those stoplights.



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