The Franklin County Board of Supervisors reviewed the status of county-owned properties during a work session Tuesday.

Of the more than 100 properties currently owned or leased by the county, supervisors focused on 17 sites that are currently unused. The properties included a retail space, homes and tracts of undeveloped land purchased by or donated to the county.

The majority of the work session focused on 82 acres in Ferrum that was purchased by the county in 1996 for an industrial park, but has since gone unused. The property is just off Virginia 40 just west of Ferrum College.

Ronnie Thompson, Boone District representative, said the unused property has been a running joke in the county. He asked that plans be made to either put the property to use or list it for sale. “I think we need to move forward with doing something,” he said.

The property has an assessed value of $222,000. Thompson said funds from selling the property could be used in future budgets and would create future tax revenue from a new owner.

Supervisors agreed to allow six months for county staff to explore possible opportunities for the property.

County staff members also were asked to study uses for a home on Sontag Road across from the Franklin County Recreation Park that previously had been rented, but currently is vacant. In addition, they were asked to explore what to do with a home across from the courthouse currently used by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for visiting conservation officers, as well as an unused building at 275 W. College St.

A retail space, owned by the county near the courthouse that was the former location of Daily Grind, also was part of the supervisors’ discussion, as well as two tracts of land at Lakewatch Plantation near Westlake Corner that had been designated for future parks.

“We don’t need both,” Thompson said.

The two sites include 16 acres near the Lakewatch green box site and 19 acres at the end of Lakewatch Drive.

Bob Camicia, Gills Creek District representative, said the acreage near the green box site should remain, but that the county should explore options for the other tract of land.

County staff members agreed to discuss their findings at a future board of supervisors meeting.

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