MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) --Controversy is brewing in Aberdeen as city leaders try to put a vacant building back on the tax roll.
The vacant building is the old high school, and state administrators said the school is not for sell.
"I guess we wait for it to fall down," said Dudley Williams, city attorney.
Williams is talking about the old high school that has been vacant for two years.
"If you walk through that building it's vacant and not being used. They are storing old desks and things like that. It is no use to them. We have a new high school. It's not like they are going to move the new high school back to the old high school," Williams said.
City leaders have been working with an Ohio developer for the last several weeks to turn the building into a 40 bed senior living facility. The developers would pay the district for the building and then spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to renovate it.
"First of all, it would put a piece of property back on the tax roll somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 million. It would actually put around $150,000 between city, county and public school taxes as well. Not only that, you would help the local vendors because you are putting around 40 new families into the community," said David Low, city building official.
But administrators with the Mississippi Department of Education said the building is not for sell.
"It is the position of MDE that that is a local decision. Once conservatorship districts are returned to local control and boards are in place then that board and community should have the right to make that decision," said Bob Strebeck, conservator.
City leaders said their hands are tied. There is nothing they can do until after the conservatorship-if the offer is still on the table.