Greenville Co. Council member questions land sale

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PELZER, S.C. (WSPA) – A Greenville County Council member is raising questions about a property sale.

The land was owned by the South Greenville Fire District and sold to one of the fire district’s commissioners.

The land is about four acres located at the corner of Burgess School Road and Highway 418.

“I had a person that lives in my district that became aware of it and asked me did I know about it,” said Greenville County Council member Joe Dill, who represents the northern part of the county.

The fire district bought the land in question in 1985, according to property records. In 2018, John Jennings, who is a commissioner for the South Greenville Fire District, bought the property from the district for $25,000. The property value is listed as being worth $40,050, according to public records.

“I just want to see the taxpayers treated properly and I don’t feel like that happened here,” Dill said.

Jennings told 7News he was told a sign advertising the land for sale was put up, but no one bid on it. He put in an offer and the board voted to approve it. He said he did not vote on the deal.

People who live near the property told 7News they never saw a sign go up about the land being for sale. One person told 7News they asked about buying the property, but no one had ever followed up on how much they were asking.

Greenville County Council member Lynn Ballard, who represents the Pelzer area where the land is located, said a constituent also contacted him about the sale after it happened. Ballard said he reviewed the sale with the county attorney. He said he never saw any evidence of an appraisal being done, and he doesn’t know if the general public was ever notified that the district was accepting bids on the land.

“It was not done the best that it could have been done, but it wasn’t done in any fashion illegally,” Ballard said.

He said Jennings made the offer anonymously, so the other commissioners didn’t know he was the buyer when they approved the sale.

The South Greenville Fire District Chief and the chair of the board of fire commissioners did not immediately to respond to requests for comments.


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