Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Augusta's Expoland ... selling off land to pay debt?

Is Expoland selling off land to pay debt? If so, why did they turn down a potential financial windfall earlier this year by rejecting the proposed motocross park?

In today's Waynesboro News Virginian, Bob Stuart talked with local businessman Terry Argenbright about his plans for Expo ... plans that included providing recreational activities for families in Augusta County and the surrounding area ... plans that included keeping Expoland intact without selling off land ... plans for the Xtreme Sports Park ... plans to make Expoland a vibrant part of the community.

Records show Expoland has apparently been chipping off pieces of property to pay the bills.
According to tax records on file with the Internal Revenue Service, the nonprofit sold 20 acres of land in 2006 for about $722,000. That sale did not wipe out Expoland’s debt.

In an April 23 letter from the Expoland board to Augusta County’s Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals and Board of Supervisors, board members acknowledge plans to sell more land. For two years, Expoland has been negotiating with a local business for the sale of land, the letter states. The letter states the sale is necessary to pay off debts and provide air conditioning in Expo’s main building complex.
That April 23rd letter was sent after Expoland turned down the motocross park.

The two brothers who were behind plans for the Xtreme Sports Park, Terry and Doug Argenbright, have sent a letter to the Expoland board of directors. In it they said:
"The Argenbrights are willing to forgo the $250,000 lawsuits against every individual listed above and the $12 million lawsuit against Expoland if the board will make the right decision and allow the Argenbrights to buy out Expo in order to save it for the community."
Expoland sits in the middle of an industrial area alongside I-64. Opposition has come from neighboring farms but there is no house immediately adjourning the property which is bordered by trees on one side, fields on another side, industrial businesses on the third side, and I-64 on the fourth side.

According to the News Virginian article:
While there was strong community opposition to the track largely because of concerns about noise, the zoning at Expoland allows for both industrial and business development.

John Wilkinson, Augusta County’s zoning administrator, said approximately 30 acres of the 182 acres at Expoland are zoned industrial. That zoning designation would allow for a wide range of uses, including manufacturing, trucking companies and warehouse distribution.

The remaining land at Expoland is zoned for business, and that designation would allow retail operations such as a shopping center or restaurant, offices, car lots or car repair shops.
Expoland's annual meeting is May 27 and is open to the public. At that time four new board members will be voted on as well as a proposed change in the bylaws for the property. All are welcome to become members by paying $10 annually by Monday for voting privileges at Tuesday's meeting. Stop by Expoland to pick up a membership application, or contact Terry Argenbright.

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