NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. - Newton County recently reached an agreement with Timbervest Partners on a 518.14-acre tract of land it owns in Jones County.
The land was purchased by Newton County in 2009 on a contract which included a $10 repurchase option. Timbervest moved to exercise that option in August of 2016. Newton County then responded with a complaint that the contract wasn’t valid.
The two sides met in mediation on Feb. 16 resulting in Timbervest dropping the repurchase agreement and buying the land from Newton County for $550,000. With the settlement agreed to, Newton County then went through proper procedures in selling the land during its Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
The BOC unanimously agreed to sell the property through a process of receiving sealed bids. That process is defined in Georgia law O.C.G.A. 36-9-3(a)(1) that the governing authority of any county must make sales of real property to the highest responsible bidder, either by sealed bids or auction.
Newton County began working on this agreement last year in order to provide the greatest financial return possible for Newton County taxpayers.
Newton County purchased the 500-plus acres for wetlands mitigation for a proposed Bear Creek reservoir project. That reservoir project was put on hold by the BOC and this piece of mitigation property is no longer needed.